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graduation cap on wood floor with "What's your science?" mortar board

Alumni send kudos to our Class of 2020 graduating seniors

When the 2020 spring commencement was moved online because of social-distancing requirements, we wanted to make sure our graduating Hokies felt the love and support, and words of wisdom, from our College of Science alumni, friends, faculty, and staff.

So, we set up a kudoboard webpage in May 2020, where friends and family could post well-wishes and photographs. Below, are just a few stand-out remarks. To read the full board, which includes heartfelt messages from parents, grandparents, and more visit

(Some comments edited for length or clarity.)

“Congratulations on your graduation from the Virginia Tech College of Science. Let the COVID-19 disruption of your studies and traditional graduation ceremony fuel that passion to change the world for the better that all COS Hokies feel when they graduate. Go Hokies!”

--Tim McMahon, psychology, ’81.

“Congratulations Virginia Tech College of Science, Class of 2020! There is no doubt that the way your senior year ended feels unfair. Hopefully it’s helped you put things into perspective, helped you see how resilient you, are and fueled your passions. The next chapter of your life is coming and ... YOU'VE GOT THIS!”

-- Kelly McCann, biological sciemnces, ’07.

“Congratulations Virginia Tech College of Science Class of 2020. Always remember the Virginia Tech motto ‘Ut Prosim’ and use what you have learned to make a difference in the world.”

-- Vic Sower, chemistry, ’68.

“Congrats to the class of 2020! As my good friend, Dr. Seuss, once said, ‘Oh, the places you'll go!’ You now have a world class education, and the Hokie Spirit alive in your heart. Use both to do some good on this planet and know you can always find a fellow alum to encourage and support you along the way.”

-- Keli (Faria) Fisher, biological sciences, ’95.

“Way to go, 2020! You have now qualified to be a ‘Diploma Snob’! And that's just the beginning, now you are certified to be in the top percentile at whatever you attempt. Practice Ut Prosim and enjoy as you go for it.”

-- Mayer G. Levy, biological sciences, ’55.

“Congratulations on your great achievement. I know you have prepared yourself well to meet the challenges of the future. Virginia Tech is a gift that keeps on giving throughout life. It is the best community I have ever been a part of and I encourage you to keep in touch with the university and come back as often as you can. Best of luck.”

-- Bob Quisenberry, statistics, ’62.

“Congratulations to the Virginia Tech College of Science Class of 2020! The world is yours -- make the best of it. Remember, once a Hokies always a Hokie -- make us proud!”

-- Deborah A. Koller, biological sciences, ’76.

“Congratulations Class of 2020 and welcome to the VT alumni circle. More than ever, we need your insights and energy solving the problems of society. I know you can and will make a positive difference. Ut Prosim for life.”

-- Patricia Caldwell, mathematics, ’71.

“You enter a world where existing norms and ways have been shattered. Often the enemy of innovation is inertia against change, but change now is everywhere, and that inertia can now push you forward. You have the opportunity to do something really unique that five months ago would not have been possible. I challenge you to take advantage of this opportunity and do something really special that only you see as possible.”

– Scott Banks, chemistry, ’81