Convocation 2020

Dear Nursing Students,

You did it.

We asked you, as always, to spend the academic year advancing your education as nurses so you could be well prepared to serve the communities into which you will go.

You did it.

We then asked you, with very little advance notice, to transition from the normal classroom and lab settings to online classes.

You did it.

We asked those who were scheduled for clinical placements to demonstrate flexibility and resiliency by adapting to non-traditional opportunities that were responsive to the needs of the community.

You did it.

For those graduating, we asked that you understand the necessity to have a virtual convocation, forgoing what we know was a long-time dream of the in-person ceremony that should have marked the end of at least one phase of your educational journey.

You did it.

Then, as if enough hadn’t already been asked of you, Black lives continue to be lost because of racism and police violence, and in the midst of re-traumatization to communities of color, we asked you to grieve with us and reflect on taking action.

This was without question an extraordinary and unique academic quarter and year. At every turn, it seems, you were challenged with new circumstances. I encourage you to take a moment to look back and see that each of these challenges contributed, in important ways, to developing skills needed to be an exceptional nurse. You learned resiliency, flexibility, and adaptability. You learned to think on your feet, respond to crises, multitask, and use your analytical abilities to problem solve. You learned to work in non-standard settings, under sometimes-difficult circumstances. You collaborated, cooperated, and coordinated with one another. You supported each other.

I congratulate each of you for finding the opportunity within each challenge. Take pride in the fact that no matter what the magnitude of each challenge, or the height of each obstacle. . .

. . .you did it.


Warm regards,


Azita Emami, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, FAAN
Robert G. and Jean A. Reid Executive Dean
UW School of Nursing