A Letter to Our 2020 Graduates
I’ll say it right off the bat, the Class of 2020 graduation looks different than those of the past – that’s no secret. Graduating amid a pandemic shouldn’t make your day any less special, though. A graduation day is still something to celebrate and all of South Dakota knows our 2020 graduates worked hard to get to where they are.
When I look back on my graduation day from T.F. Riggs High School and the University of South Dakota, I’m ashamed to admit, but if I’m being honest, I don’t remember the commencement speaker or who I was sitting next to. While, I may not remember the minute details, I still carry with me the lessons from my years in college and high school.
The memories of high school and college go beyond just one day. For me, most of my memories were made in the classroom and during extracurricular activities. It’s hard to appreciate your education when you’re in the thick of it – but I promise, when you’re an old man like me, you’ll look back on those days fondly.
Last year, I had the opportunity to go to high school senior Addison Miller’s graduation party – he mailed an invitation to my office and I showed up. I’m disappointed I won’t get to do that for any of you this year.
As a 2020 graduate you’ll have a more interesting story than most of us when it comes to graduation day. The changes and experiences you’ve faced during the last few months will likely shape education and learning for years to come – you are a part of history.
So even if the day itself didn’t go quite how you expected, you should be incredibly proud of your accomplishment, because South Dakota is sure proud of you.
Congressman Dusty Johnson