An Open Letter to the Boston University Class of 2020


But not in the way you may think…

Rather, each and everyone of you will be defined by how you acted during this crisis, whatever your particular circumstance was, how you utilized the resources you had, and how you created survival methods you didn’t know you had. You’ll each be defined by the perseverance and bravery you displayed as you endured fear, loss, and uncertainty during this unprecedented time.

I propose that you, the class of 2020, be defined as “The Resilient Generation”.

The “Greatest Generation” was defined by their willingness to fight and sacrifice for freedom during the sheer horror of WWII. Now your generation is, among other things, protecting those heroes. Your ease of digital communication and technological adeptness, a nuisance to some, is enabling our society to carry on, rather than completely crumble. You succeeded the competitive college admissions process, have the ability to study and manage complex issues, form friendships with students around the globe, maintain a commitment to lifelong learning and understand the value of work/life balance.

These talents, among others, will pave the way for the brilliance required to develop a treatment for this pandemic and to solve future crises. Your collective compassion will be utilized to lift the most needy among us, so they and we can all thrive again. Your skills, experiences, and sheer grit will serve you well throughout your lives. Your quest for corporate social responsibility, intolerance of prejudice, and willingness to fight against stigmas of any kind, propels your generation to work not only as esteemed individuals, but as highly effective teams.


As I write this letter, I don’t know if I, or any of my loved ones will test positive for the coronavirus, nor do I know how sick any of us may get. But I do know this: years, perhaps decades from now, another group of graduating seniors will be talking about the Class of 2020. They will joke as they sip their “Quarantini’s” in the Boston pubs, laugh at how some Spring breakers were confined to one room, and challenge folktales about how supermarket and sanitation workers, truck drivers, and yes, the artists transformed into everyday heroes. Sadly, the less fortunate may grieve lost loved ones. But mark my words, you, the Class of 2020, “The Resilient Generation”, will be honored in the footnotes of their term papers and referenced as role models in their motivational speeches.

You may or may not get to wear those brilliant scarlet colored cap and gowns down Commonwealth Avenue or hear the BU marching bands’ Pomp and Circumstance of the graduation procession live. What you will always have though, is the gratitude, respect and admiration from the entire country, and the confidence that you and your peers have the readiness to adapt to world changes in ways never before imagined.


One last promise – no other college reunion will be as poppin’ as the Class of 2020!

Written by BU Parent, Barbara K.