Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

A screen shot from the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology's May 16, 2020 virtual convocation

On Saturday, May 16, 2020, the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology celebrated its outstanding graduates with a virtual convocation. The ceremony included a slide show about students and their future plans, shout-outs from MCB faculty, and remarks from MCB Director Milan Bagchi and Tina Knox, assistant director for advising and recruitment. The event concluded with a performance by the Marching Illini.

“This is certainly not how any of us planned to celebrate your years of hard work and dedication. Convocation weekend is typically one of the happiest times of the year for us,” Knox said. “Watching each of you cross the stage and become an alumnus is a privilege that we cherish. Our hearts are with you and your families during this unprecedented time that has altered this important rite of passage. However, we know that you are strong, intelligent, and resilient. You will do amazing things with or without the pomp and circumstance,” she said.

MCB graduates are not only part of an excellent academic tradition, they are part of “a global, loyal, and supportive family,” said Bagchi, the Deborah Paul Endowed Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology. “I have great faith in all of you and hope you keep in touch with us and each other as you go out and change the world. No matter where you go, chances are there is a fellow Illini nearby, ready to answer your call of ‘ILL-.’ Also know that we may all be apart now, one day campus will reopen, and Alma Mater will be here for you with outstretched arms.”

Quoting comedian Jon Stewart, Bagchi said, “the truly exciting thing about your life, is that it has no core curriculum. The entire journey is an elective.’ I have no doubt that with a strong foundation provided by the education you received here, with hard work, honesty, and faith in yourself, you will choose your ‘electives’ well and forge a path that will lead to success and fulfillment in your life.”

An informal reception on Zoom followed the ceremony, allowing students the opportunity to connect with each other and their advisors.

The virtual convocation can be viewed at

May 17, 2020 All News