"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

The Class of 2024 graduates

For many graduates, this marks their first in-person graduation ceremony
Breanna Laws
The Wake Forest Undergraduate Class of 2024 graduated on Monday, May 20.

The Wake Forest Class of 2024 turned their tassels and welcomed a new chapter of their lives on the morning of May 20.

For many graduates, the 2024 commencement ceremony was a once-in-a-lifetime event, with many of them never having a high school graduation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wake Forest President Susan Wente remarked on the graduates’ perseverance throughout their unusual academic journey.

“Yes, you began your college experience during a global crisis, but more importantly, you persevered and found innovative ways to navigate through it and to get to today,” Wente said. “You deserve this morning — this day — and I encourage you to cherish every single moment of it.”

She concluded: “Be courageous; be confident; you have what you need. Go and do good as you experience this very special day … [and] know that Wake Forest will never leave you.”

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In her address, commencement speaker and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Mandy Cohen spoke to the University’s motto — Pro Humanitate.

“It can be really, really hard to live pro humanitate today,” Cohen said. “We see evidence of that all over the world right now. Having good intentions doesn’t mean much without action.”

She left graduates with this piece of advice: “… In this increasingly complex world that makes it too easy to believe the illusion that we live in a binary world of us and them, I hope you will recommit to the school’s motto as you leave your college days behind. Show up and see people — all people — listen, seek understanding … [and] take the time to understand the other person’s why.”

Former Student Body President and Class of 2024 graduate Jackson Buttler emphasized that, while this graduating class faced many challenges, it is not these challenges that define their journey at Wake Forest. 

“I could very easily stand here before you all and use this platform to talk about the challenges that we faced because there have been a lot,” Buttler said. “… Of course, those challenges are what have made our class so unique, but they certainly do not define us, nor do they define our four years here.”

He continued: “Our class is a history-making one — not because we entered college during a global pandemic but because we’ve achieved incredible things.”

The university’s 36 retiring faculty members were also honored during the ceremony. Two honorary doctoral degrees were awarded to Cohen and Rev. Gary Dorrien.

As their time at Wake Forest comes to a close, this year’s graduates depart from the University ready to face anything life throws at them. With the tossing of hats, the Wake Forest Class of 2024 welcomes their future with open arms.

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About the Contributor
Breanna Laws
Breanna Laws, Managing Editor
Breanna is a junior from Wilkes County, N.C. majoring in communication and minoring in journalism and linguistics. Outside of the OGB, she is the vice president of the university poetry club, a member of the Setting the Groove tap club and a student advisor. In their free time, you can find them watching horror movies or making a boba run.

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