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Making history: Class of 2020 celebrates online

Congratulations to the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) graduating class of 2020.

More than 2,500 students spanning almost 50 countries officially completed years of study today (April 22), all of them celebrating online due to current gathering restrictions.

Despite their degrees of separation, the graduates were more connected than ever.

Each received a video message from Chancellor John Dornbusch and Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie and access to a digital testamur.

Also on offer was a Celebration Pack of digital goodies, including Zoom background images, to help graduates revel their achievement with family and friends.

Chancellor John Dornbusch said he couldn’t be prouder of the graduates.

“I know many of you may feel disappointed, but we at the University of Southern Queensland are so proud,” Mr Dornbusch said.

“Years of dedication and hard work have led you to this moment; so wherever you are and whatever you’re doing to celebrate, congratulations.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said today was the start of a new journey for the graduates.

“I know that the skills and knowledge that you’ve gained in your studies will be more important than ever before,” Professor Mackenzie said.

“Congratulations, well done and happy graduation day.”

Among today’s graduates was Adelaide-born Alyssa Nikolaidis.

The 27-year-old moved to Toowoomba to complete her Master of Clinical Psychology degree.

“Before Coronavirus, my family planned on flying here to watch me graduate,” Alyssa said.

“Even though I won’t be wearing a cap and gown, I’ll still get to celebrate with them – just online.

“Friends from my class are planning on dressing up and toasting each other in a Zoom.”

The #usqisograd cohort – as it has come to be known – will join the University’s 100,000 strong alumni community scattered across 150 countries.

Search #usqisograd on social media or visit the Graduations website for more details or if you are graduating, head to our Virtual Community Wall to see how everyone else is marking this momentous occasion. 

girl with green jacket smiling
Among today’s graduates was Adelaide-born Alyssa Nikolaidis. The 27-year-old moved to Toowoomba to complete her Master of Clinical Psychology degree.