Willies the Wildcat tossing graduation mortarboard in the air
The global pandemic did not stop Daemen College from celebrating our graduates and acknowledging the honor of earning their college degree. 

The Daemen community came together in the spring of 2020 to develop a respectful and robust virtual commencement ceremony to celebrate all of the hard work that both undergraduate and graduate students put in during their time at the college. The decision to develop a virtual event was not easy – graduation is a significant milestone that students and families look forward to – but with the work of an imaginative and creative team, Daemen’s staff and faculty created a unique and meaningful celebration. Acknowledging that students might be disappointed with the decision, Daemen College President Gary Olson assured campus members that every effort would be made to “make this the most memorable commencement we have ever had.” 

In August, Daemen’s 2020 graduates, along with their friends and families, were able to view and participate in an interactive ceremony, enjoying a celebration that ended up being worth the wait. The ceremony included many special custom elements, including personalized slides for each student created to feature his or her name, degree and photo. A website was also developed specifically for 

students and their loved ones to view the commencement live or later at their convenience, and provided fun graduation themed artwork such as specially created Daemen Willie the Wildcat mascot GIFS, emojis and graphics to help celebrate the accomplishment on social media channels. 

Brian Kulpa
Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa

Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa served as the commencement speaker and gave the graduates a heartfelt address. He acknowledged that their perseverance and resilience would serve them well in a newly changed world. Supervisor Kulpa was joined by several other community and national leaders in congratulating the class of 2020 and offering valuable advice and inspiration. Graduates heard from Daemen College Chairman of the Board of Trustees John R. Yurtchuk, US Senator Chuck Schumer, Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver Andrew Roberts, and others who also helped promote the event with video messages to students. 

John Yurtchuk
Daemen College Chairman of the Board of Trustees John R. Yurtchuk

In addition to receiving their diplomas in the mail, students were sent congratulatory yard signs to show off their graduate status right in their own neighborhood. Graduates also received custom built commemorative boxes, that included a letter from President Olson, graduation tassels, honors cords, printed programs, save the dates, an alumni letter and other Daemen swag. 

If you missed the celebration, or want to see all of the hard work that went into it, please check out daemen.edu/commencement to view the ceremonies.