Pitt-Johnstown graduation

More than 350 Pitt-Johnstown graduates graced the stage at Richland High School on Sunday to receive their Class of 2021 diplomas, out of 544 who earned degrees.

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown’s Class of 2021 was congratulated Saturday for its achievement – and true resiliency – in accomplishing their graduation goals despite a year of COVID-19 challenges.

“You persisted and powered through enormous challenges, from dealing with social distancing and Zooming and Canvas to, in some cases, quarantine and isolation,” UPJ President Jem Spectar told graduates who attended the event.

“Your resilience paid off, bringing you to this milestone moment for you and your loved ones, a remarkable accomplishment under unusually trying conditions.”

All of the challenges students had to overcome to reach this point have only made them more prepared to thrive in their careers, Spectar added.

The graduates were part of a class of 544 who earned degrees from the school this spring; 350 attended the ceremony at Richland High School.

“Today, you step forward into the future – a Pitt-Johnstown graduate, ready for the real world,” Spectar said. “We trust that you would use your considerable talents in the service of our communities and humankind, that you will get involved and make a positive difference in our world. We hope that you will stay fully and passionately engaged in the challenges facing our communities and the pressing issues of our time.”

It’s bittersweet to say “goodbye,” Spectar said.

“But, we are happy to join you in celebration as you set sail to a world of possibilities,” he said. “We wish you well as you step forward to create the future.”

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @TDDavidHurst and Instagram @TDDavidHurst.

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