At a historic virtual ceremony on Monday afternoon, June 1, the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University celebrated 76 graduates of the Class of 2020 who earned 84 certificates and four degrees through the Programs in Creative Writing, Dance, Theater, Music Theater, and Visual Arts. The ceremony, attended by more than 200 guests, was held via Zoom Webinar in response to restrictions on public gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting format has become all too familiar to the graduates who spent the final six weeks of their time at Princeton in online classes.
The event also awarded prizes to the top seniors and included a special live address to the graduates by Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem.
“Today’s Class Day ceremony is a celebration of your commitment, throughout your time at Princeton, to asking the big questions in creative and arresting ways,” said Lewis Center Chair Tracy K. Smith in addressing the graduates. “If ever the world has needed bright, young, creative people helping us to look at the world and ourselves with more courage and compassion, it is now.” She added, “Artists are no strangers to change, challenge and upheaval. We dive into uncertainty with the desire to make headway, to find new kinds of sense, to startle ourselves out of anxiety and into new and sometimes unsettling forms of clarity. Each of you has risen to that occasion time and again during your time at Princeton. And this spring, in a time of global uncertainty, glaring injustice and grave loss, your commitment to paying attention, staying present, and being honest and vulnerable has helped to keep our community intact. Witnessing you bring your independent work to fruition in one of the strangest semesters in living memory has been a source of hope and continuity for more people than you may realize.”
Watch the recap video of the year here: https://vimeo.com/422955586