COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland hosted its 2022 spring commencement ceremony at Maryland Stadium on Friday, May 20, 2022, celebrating the spring 2022 graduates and joined by winter and summer 2021 grads. The outdoor event honored 12,600 members of the graduating classes, including 9,000 bachelor’s, nearly 2,700 masters and about 900 doctoral degree recipients.
“You made it,” said University or Maryland President Darryll J. Pines. “I and the entire university administration are tremendously proud and grateful for the amount of sacrifices you have selflessly made over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. You have shown tremendous courage, and we are all stronger—and I mean TerrapinSTRONG—for your efforts.”
In the main commencement address, bestselling author and illustrator Jeff Kinney ’93 shared lighthearted stories from his own time as a UMD student, including when he accidentally dyed rain-soaked building columns neon green with flyers advertising his compilation of Diamondback comics. He also encouraged graduates to “see change not as an obstacle, but as an opportunity” and “figure out what kind of work really brings you joy.”
“Your experiences at the University of Maryland have armed you for the righteous battles ahead,” he said. “You didn’t wallow in self-pity. You learned how to attend classes without even getting out of bed. You played a lot of ‘Fortnite.’ You ate all of (your parents’) snacks. You taught us a lot about resiliency, and you made us so incredibly proud.”
M Pease ’22, the student speaker graduating with high honors in psychology, encouraged their classmates to be brave in uncertainty and embrace their imagination and ability to make a better future.
“We will face it with the same courage, tenacity and care we showed in our time here,” they said. “Just be your full and authentic self, take care of each other, and remember that we are all worthy of rest, love and joy—not because we work hard, not because we are college graduates, but simply because of our intrinsic worth as human beings.”
Honorary degrees were also conferred on longtime university benefactors Alma G. Gildenhorn ’53, Joseph B. Gildenhorn ’51 and Barry P. Gossett ’62.
“Today is called a commencement because it is not the end of your journey, but in fact the beginning of your journey,” Pines said. “Your experience here at the University of Maryland has changed you. It has made you stronger and wiser. The world needs you and you are ready for it. With grit, confidence and perseverance, you have learned how to be fearless—and you can now go fearlessly forward.”
Those in attendance also heard remarks from Darryll J. Pines, UMD President; Rabbi Eli Backman, Chaplin at Chabad Jewish Student Center; Nefretiti Nassar, At-large Member of the Alumni Association Board of Governors; and deans of each school and college.
To watch a recording of the ceremony, please visit go.umd.edu/ckT/.