On September 26, 2020, Douglass welcomed the Class of 2024 and their families at the 102nd Fall Convocation. The virtual event was an opportunity for the College to come together to empower new students as they begin their first days at Douglass.
In addition to opening remarks from Dean Jacquelyn Litt, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway addressed Douglass students.
Warren, the first woman elected to the Senate from Massachusetts, serves on the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; the Special Committee on Aging; and the Armed Services Committee. Before starting in politics, she earned her juris doctor degree from Rutgers Law School. She was also a candidate for the Democratic Party’s 2020 presidential nomination. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Douglass’ theme was “nevertheless, she persisted,” a phrase inspired by Warren’s service in the Senate.
Senator Warren’s message congratulated students on entering the Douglass community while also offering insight on the current moment. With an understanding that students are beginning the next phase of their education during uncertain times, Senator Warren spoke to students about the important role their generation will play in shaping the world’s future.
“This crisis has marked a new chapter in your life with fear and uncertainty, and that truth is one we just can’t ignore, but we are not without hope,” said Senator Warren. “The values and the sense of community that you will learn here at Douglass will be called upon like never before—in your families, in your communities, and all across this nation. Now more than ever, we need women in positions of power with diverse lived experiences, women who will fight for bold ideas and have the confidence both to question and to listen. ”
The College was also thrilled to host renowned historian, author, and higher education leader, President Jonathan Holloway. Speaking directly to the Douglass community for the first time since beginning his term last summer, President Holloway encouraged students to embrace opportunities at Douglass and to use their college years to make an impact on the larger world.
“To the women at Douglass Residential College, as you begin your studies at a moment unlike any other in our lifetimes, I wish you a year of unimagined opportunity and possibility,” said President Holloway. “You have already put yourself at a great advantage in choosing Douglass Residential College. You have around you and among you brilliant minds, bold hearts, and pioneering spirits. Douglass has always been a place of resistance, of challenge and change, and of empowerment and leadership for women. Today you are part of an incredible legacy of forming new leaders who make a difference not just for themselves, but for the greater good.”
Both President Holloway and Senator Warren had a profound impact on Douglass students.
“As Senator Warren said, our generation must come together to face the challenges that stand in our way,” said Aarushi Govil DRC’22. “Douglass is the first step in bringing that community together towards that common goal.”
The recorded ceremony is available via YouTube to watch at any time. To view the video, click here!