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Graduate School of Education and Psychology Celebrates Classes of 2020 and 2021 with In-Person Ceremonies

GSEP graduates pose for picture together at Alumni ParkOn Saturday, September 25, 2021, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) held in-person commencement ceremonies for the school’s Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 graduates. Graduates from the Education Division started the day of celebration as they joined their guests in Alumni Park at 9 AM. Later that afternoon, graduates from the Psychology Division closed out the day’s celebrations in Alumni Park at 3:30 PM.

“In this commencement celebration and through their subsequent actions, our graduates are demonstrating to the world what it truly means to be leaders in professions that improve and enrich the lives of individuals, families, and communities. We at GSEP are delighted to walk alongside them in this next phase of their individual and collective journeys,” shares Helen Williams 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person graduations were canceled in 2020 and early 2021, leading GSEP to host virtual celebrations to honor the school’s graduates during a tumultuous season. As pandemic conditions continued to improve, Pepperdine worked closely with public health officials to host in-person commencement events beginning in May 2021 while protecting the health of graduates, their guests, and the community. 

The ceremonies began with invocations from associate dean Farzin Madjidi (MBA ’88, EdD ’91) and professor of psychology Amy Tuttle Guerrero before Pepperdine president Jim Gash (JD ’93) delivered the commencement address for both ceremonies. After Williams presented the graduates in each program, assistant clinical professor of education Ricardo Vigil (MA ’05) and professor of psychology Drew Erhardt closed each of the ceremonies with a benediction. 

“These ceremonies were our graduates shouting, ‘We will not be defeated!’” says Williams. “They will forge ahead taking a victorious stand against all forms of adversity as they diligently dismantle visible and invisible forms of aggression against and oppression of humanity everywhere.”