The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard to navigate for so many of us. But public health leaders have helped guide the way.
On Monday, Yale’s School of Public Health grads got to hear from the one person so many have turned to throughout the pandemic: Dr. Anthony Fauci. He was among the speakers at nine graduate program ceremonies.
“It was amazing to come back one last time and be together,” said Ann Boyajian, a new graduate of the Yale School of Management
The day was a way for them to finish what they started together.
“I think we’re very grateful that we were able to have an in-person ceremony, but yeah unfortunately my parents were livestreaming it from my apartment,” said Maggie Shun, also of the Yale School of Management.
The ceremonies returned this year for graduates only. Families reunited on campus afterward.
“She said, ‘OK you guys come over’ and we were so excited,” said Zhen Ming of his daughter Maggie’s graduation.
The restriction marked another COVID era precaution lead by public health officials. That expertise was highlighted by Fauci.
“The challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic at home and abroad have brought into sharp focus the world’s need for the science and art of public health professionals,” said Fauci.
He appeared by video to the graduates who are preparing to take on the world’s public health concerns as the global pandemic still looms. It brought a number of challenges for the class of 2021 which began after they abruptly left campus 15 months ago.
“I didn’t have access to any of my lab materials and that was really tough because that’s something that needs to get done. Those are skills I have do develop,” said Ryan Steele of Newton, Mass., who graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry.
Still, he and the other students persisted. And they graduated.
“It’s definitely a big triumphant moment for me and for everyone else that worked very hard,” Steele said.