School of Nursing celebrates graduates at commencement ceremony

May 21, 2021

The University of Minnesota School of Nursing celebrated the graduation of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice and PhD in Nursing students at ceremonies May 15.

Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, the senior scholar-in-residence and senior adviser to the president on nursing at the National Academy of Medicine, delivered the commencement address.

“My advice to you is to build strong communities and to prioritize your relationships. The most important distinguishing feature of a nurse is his or her ability to make a human connection,” said Hassmiller. “The COVID pandemic has shown that our world has great needs and grave injustices that we must right, and that meeting those needs and fighting those injustices must be nursing’s North Star.”

Julianne Pekala spoke on behalf of BSN students. “This cohort’s ongoing kindness changed me and it will change the lives of every person each one of you meets during your nursing career,” said Pekala. “I have no doubt that all of you will be change-makers in the art and the science of nursing, forces to be reckoned with.”

“The COVID pandemic has shown that our world has great needs and grave injustices that we must right, and that meeting those needs and fighting those injustices must be nursing’s North Star.”
 - Susan Hassmiller, senior scholar-in-residence and senior adviser to the president on nursing at the National Academy of Medicine

Rebecca Brown, speaking on behalf of doctoral students, encouraged graduates to embrace their passions. “As nurses and here at this institution, we relish working together, in interdisciplinary teams, bringing our passions and superpowers to innovatively alleviate the suffering of those around us. With the challenges we face, the times we’re up against, we’ve got to give this life all we’ve got,” she said.

Dean Connie White Delaney presented the graduates to Regent Kendall J. Powell, who conferred the degrees to the graduates.

“Your experience at the School of Nursing and the University of Minnesota was unlike that of any in our long and proud history,” said White Delaney. “You are advancing in the nursing profession at a time when there has never been a greater need for what we do, what we are capable of doing, and most significantly your unique leadership, vision and innovation.”

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May 15, 2021 BSN ceremony

May 15, 2021 Graduate ceremony