Congratulations Class of 2020

Oh, the things you will accomplish, the places you will see, the world you will be!  - Arpita Bose, Assistant Professor of Biology

Dear Biology Students,

* I want to congratulate you on your graduation from Washington University. We all realize that you are graduating at a strange time, into a situation that none of us have experienced before. So, it is difficult to give you advice, other than to remind you to have faith in yourselves, and know that everything will be OK when things settle down.  However, I do want to share with you something my father told me when I was at this stage in my life. 

You may not be in a situation to follow your dreams right away, but when you do please try to remember:

  1. When faced with a choice, always try to keep your options open. Thus, you won’t feel locked into a situation that you may discover later was not a good fit.
  2. Try to choose a career path or line of study that you enjoy; that you enjoy thinking about,  that you have fun doing on a day-to-day basis, and that makes you happy.  

I wish you the very best of luck as you move on to the next stage of your lives. - Barbara Kunkel, Professor of Biology

* I love teaching Wash U Biology majors because you guys are sharp, articulate, and willing to challenge assumptions.  Keep up the great work, and best of luck in your future endeavors! - Ken Olsen, Professor of Biology

* You’ve already demonstrated to us that you are capable of amazing things.  Now, go show the world. - Julia Wang, Instructor

* Congratulations on all you have accomplished, seniors! It has been an honor to get to know so many of you the last few years. Best of luck as you move forward, and always feel free to come back and visit! - Mitch Kundel, Biology Lecturer

* You have the distinction of graduating in the year of the rat.  While many people see them as the iconic plague vectors, they are also iconic research partners.  2020 will be the year that people were reminded why we invest in understanding basic biology, health education, and evidence-based policy.  So embrace your inner rat and be a vector of scientific literacy as you head out into the world. - Stan Braude, Professor of the Practice of Biology 

*Almighty Bio Majors, it has been an honor to teach you, get to know you, and learn from you. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished at and for WashU.  Now get some sleep. Erik Herzog, Professor of Biology

* Congratulations on your graduation! You have worked hard all four years, but who knew you were going to have to Zoom to the finish! Come back and see us in St. Louis and figure out how to make a difference in this crazy world! - Joan Strassmann, Charles Rebstock Professor of Biology

* College is a time to share knowledge and understanding. It has been my pleasure to work with you during the past four years and for that, I want to thank you for everything that we have learned together. Although your undergraduate degree recognizes your hard work and accomplishments, it also marks an early step in a life filled with opportunities to learn and share. As you savor graduation, remember that you reached today, years after starting college, by succeeding one day at a time. Leaving here, you will meet the challenges ahead of you, and you will work through each one, one day at a time. Congratulations class of 2020 for reaching this step and the next, and the next….. -  Doug Chalker, Professor of Biology

* Congrats Bio Grads! It’s been an honor teaching you!  I wish you luck in your future endeavors!!! - Craig Smith, Biology Lecturer

* Congratulations on all that you have achieved but as you know it is just the beginning! It's funny how some distance learning makes everything seem small. It's time to see what you can do to test the limits and breakthrough. No right, no wrong, no limits for you, you are free! Go help make the world a safer and better place! SO LET IT GO!!! It has been a pleasure getting to know you and interacting with you in class and on campus - Phil Osdoby, Professor of Biology

* Oh, the things you will accomplish, the places you will see, the world you will be! - Arpita Bose, Assistant Professor of Biology

* I had planned to congratulate you individually and in person at the Arts and Sciences Recognition Ceremony, originally scheduled for this morning (May 14, 2020). Our time together was unfortunately cut short at spring break. I hope to see you back here for proper recognition a year from now. I look forward to learning where your education in biology leads you. - Allan Larson, Professor of Biology 

* Congratulations to all 2020 Biology Major graduates! It has been a privilege to contribute even in a small way to your growth as people and as scientists. Also a special shout out to the Levin Lab's amazing seniors: Christy Lindberg, Montana Sievert, Jane McKelvy, and Abby Iken (BME). The four of you have made the lab a better place. We can’t wait to see the amazing things you accomplish in your chosen fields! ❤️ - Petra Levin, Professor of Biology, and her research group

* "There are two kinds of students the gods give me.  One kind they dump on me like a bushel of potatoes.  I do not like potatoes, and the potatoes they do not ever seem to have great affection for me, but I take them and I teach them to kill patients.  The other kind!  They are very few.  They seem for some reason which is not at all clear to me to wish a liddle bit to become scientists, to work with bugs and make mistakes.  Those, ah, those I seize them, I denounce them, I teach them right away the ultimate lesson of science which is to wait and doubt.  Of the potatoes I demand nothing; of the foolish ones, like you, who think I could teach them something, I demand everything." Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis. Congratulations “foolish ones”.  We will miss you. - Dan Hanson, Biology Lecturer


* Congratulations amazing graduates! The challenges that you've faced have been great, but your skills and determination are greater! I hope that you can celebrate yourself and your accomplishments today. - Elise Walck-Shannon, Biology Lecturer 


* Congratulations on graduating under extraordinary circumstances. It's been wonderful to get to know many of you. Best wishes for your coming endeavors, and please stay in touch! - Rachel Penczykowski, Assistant Professor of Biology

This special graduation issue of BIOrhythms features the 2020 prize winners and students who graduated with research emphasis.

Full Issue Here

Virtual Honors and Research Emphasis Ceremony