As Chair of the Department and on behalf of the Anthropology faculty and staff, I give my sincerest congratulations to the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021. We are so proud of them and impressed by them. The ongoing global pandemic has wrought indescribable loss, grief, and uncertainty in so many aspects of our lives. In the face of such pervasive hardship, our graduates persisted through challenges and overcame obstacles to earn their degrees. We take great joy in commemorating these milestones that reflect their numerous achievements and the culmination of their triumphs and determination.
Since the onset of the pandemic, twelve of our PhD students have earned their doctoral degrees. They completed and defended their dissertation research, a feat that represents myriad efforts in their enduring work over the years and the guiding mentorship from advisors and faculty. The journey towards a PhD involves many challenges, made more difficult by the pandemic, and these doctoral graduates have shown considerable strength through it all. The research and work over the course of these graduates’ careers have made significant contributions to the larger body of scholarly knowledge and have truly made an impact in the world.
Additionally, I would like to congratulate our undergraduate majors and minors who have earned their bachelor degrees. As many traditional collegiate experiences were curtailed during their final years at MSU in response to health and safety efforts, our undergraduate students’ achievements are all the more commendable as they continually adapted with grace, diligence, and creativity. To all of our graduates, you have inspired us more than you know, and we look forward to celebrating your future successes!
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our faculty and staff for their dedication and resiliency as we transition back to in-person modalities this semester. Although substantial uncertainty exists with regard to COVID-19 and its impact on the global community, one thing we know for sure is that our department remains committed to providing a world-class education while maintaining health and well-being as our top priority. This balance could not be achieved without the relentless efforts of our incredible faculty and staff, and for that I offer my most sincere gratitude.
Please join me in honoring our students, faculty, and staff for their many accomplishments and in appreciating their hard work and dedication.
Dr. Todd Fenton
Department Chair and Professor of Anthropology