At the end of a very particular and challenging year, ACS Athens celebrated the Graduating Class of 2020 with a unique, "hybrid" Academy Commencement Ceremony.For the first time, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Commencement Ceremony did not take place on campus and was pre-taped and aired on the ACS Athens YouTube channel, making it the most-watched live broadcast of ACS Athens, with over 1.400 views - and counting!

ACS Athens is proud of the Graduating Class of 2020 - despite the challenges, more than 54 universities in the USA, Canada, and Europe will be admitting the graduates as they continue their educational journey this fall - what an amazing accomplishment!

Commencement Speaker,  Dr. Michael D. Amiridis, Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) congratulated all graduates on this important milestone in their lives: 

"I wish you fair winds in your continuing journey through life and good judgment during the storms that inevitably, you will experience at some point in your journey. 

I hope that your journeys are long, full of adventure and knowledge and that you will enjoy the new harbors that you will visit. I also hope that you will reach out and help those less fortunate than you, as you encounter them struggling in their own journeys through the high seas. 

After all, this is the tradition and the legacy of ACS Athens, and now, as proud graduates, you are part of this legacy."

Commencement Special Guest Speaker,  U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments, stressing how the pandemic forced their generation to learn difficult life lessons earlier than people before. 

Mr. Pyatt added:

"Your generation will  - by necessity - be a generation of innovators, builders and problem solvers and the world will need your leadership more than ever! You're the most technologically savvy generation ever and you have more computing power in your pockets than at any point in human history. 

You're also the most diverse, open-minded, and environmentally conscious generation we've ever seen!"

Suheil Sabbagh, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at ACS Athens extended his best wishes to the Class of 2020, urging graduates to pursue their dreams:

"As you may move on to the next phase of your education or educational journey and life, my advice to you is to follow your dreams! 

If you don't fulfill them in your first time, do it again, and continue until you do it!"

ACS Athens President, Dr. Peggy Pelonis, welcomed everyone to this year's virtual Commencement Ceremony, first by paying tribute to Stefanos Gialamas, 

"whose legacy goes on in people who continue to teach with excellence and in all of you who continued without missing a beat despite COVID-19" 

and to Steven Medeiros,

"whose personality, education, humor but mostly the respectful way in which he approached every relationship he formed, was legendary, bringing out the best in people".

Dr. Pelonis congratulated all graduates, wishing them the best in their next steps, adding that

"Most of all, I'm honored and humbled to be your President this year, and it is this time with you that has made me happier."

Overall a unique ceremony - Congratulations, Graduating Class of 2020!

Click here to re-live the 2020 Academy Commencement!