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1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

2020 graduate reflects on lessons learned at Transylvania ahead of Saturday commencement

Harper Zeitz will be the last graduate to walk across the stage in front of Old Morrison this Saturday when the Class of 2020 returns to Transylvania for a celebration delayed by a pandemic. She jokes that with a last name starting with “Z,” waiting at the end of a line is something she’s used to. 

But an extra year? The biology graduate says the wait to walk the stage at commencement is worth it. 

“Coming back is going to be a really rewarding experience because, I know for myself, closure is really important,” Zeitz says. She points out that Saturday will mark 1,744 days since the Class of 2020 was inducted into the Pioneer community. 

“1,744 days ago we were all strangers with just one commonality, we chose Transy. We chose to go to this little school wedged right in between Third and Fourth streets, a school known for its rich history and excellent education. This one choice we made when we were just mere adolescents, far from the young adults we are today, brought us together to learn and grow as people, academics and leaders,” Zeitz shares.

According to Zeitz, Transylvania “provided everything we need to be ready for life outside the bubble.” Still, she notes the conundrum that last year’s seniors were “pushed out of the nest before we were ready to say goodbye.”

“It is hard to embrace a challenge as daunting as a pandemic, but if this past year has taught us anything, it is to appreciate the here and now because we are never certain of what tomorrow will bring us,” Zeitz says. 

More than 100 of the 176 graduates of the Class of 2020 are expected to attend an in-person celebration Saturday. The ceremony will also be livestreamed on at transy.edu/live