A Message to our Upcoming Graduates

Chancellor Green addressing the camera/viewer.

March 31, 2020

Welcome back for what promises to be one of our most unusual but perhaps our best semesters ever in spring of 2020. As we get going again with our classes, our scholarship, and our research, we look forward to a great and successful conclusion, especially for those of you who are nearing graduation with your undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, law degrees and doctorates.

I know that commencement is a really, really special time. In 1950, my father-in-law, Wilbur Pauley, was the first in his family, just like I was, to graduate with a college degree and to have that opportunity that was unleashed in life through it. My wife and I both have degrees from the University of Nebraska, as do all four of our children. We’re now working on our 15th and 16th degrees in Wilbur’s immediate family and his descendants.

We know that commencement is a really special thing. And while this semester has been interrupted in ways that we couldn't have imagined, we've been thinking long and hard these last few weeks about how to not miss this opportunity and this celebratory moment for all of you and your journeys as Huskers.

We're looking forward to having you, in person, be with us in one of our upcoming ceremonies in August or December of this year, or May of next year, or a date further into the future – whatever will work for you and your families to celebrate this degree and to celebrate this moment in person in our tradition at Nebraska. And we're setting aside a special thing for you as the class of May 2020 when you come back to participate in those ceremonies. We will do that for you as a group, recognizing your accomplishments as a graduate of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

In May, to mark the day when your commencement would have occurred, we'll also celebrate that moment with you online via livestream, and I'm very excited about this, with an opportunity for you to hear from my friend and our volleyball coach John Cook. We also will have an opportunity for you to send us the thoughts and feelings you’re having about completing your degree, and those sentiments will be shared with our entire university community so Huskers everywhere can celebrate with you all around the world. You'll be receiving a box from us that will have in it very special things that will help you to commemorate and remember this time of completion for you. And of course, in that celebratory moment, we'll complete the conferral of your degree so that it becomes official for you, in moving forward.

While we're all in this social isolation, and doing our part to fight the coronavirus, it occurred to me that this class, the class of 2020, was the class that entered as freshmen the first year I had the opportunity to serve as the chancellor of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. You're a special class, you'll always hold a special place in the heart of this great institution and a special place for me as your chancellor. Work hard, do well, graduate, and we will celebrate with you now and always in the future.

Go Big Red!

Ronnie D. Green, Ph.D.