May 18, 2024

A Message to the Class of 2020

Class of 2020 President Eleanor Kilmon shared a moving message with her classmates.

To My Fellow Seniors,

One week ago, I sat down on Ball Circle surrounded by the bustle of excited students emerging from their residence halls ready to enjoy the first touches of spring in the air. I began writing the greeting I would share as we prepared to receive our diplomas on commencement day. And now, I sit on my bed in my sweatpants and an XL t-shirt surrounded only by my own emotions and an embarrassingly large amount of tissues. Still though, I am writing to my people, the UMW Class of 2020. Ironically, my speech was going to focus on what I like to call the “uncomfy” zone. The space where at Mary Wash where I have built my character as a friend, a leader, and a grown to be a better person. I was going to encourage you to find that growth in your own “uncomfy” zone as you move into an unfamiliar world where we don’t see our friends, professors, and mentors every day. Little did I know, we would all be thrust into an undeniable sense of uncertainty and uncomfortable so soon. While we mourn the loss of what could have been, I would like to share what I know for certain. The UMW community stretches beyond the brick and mortar of our beloved buildings. I find solace in my privilege of existing in these “uncomfy” times surrounded by a what I believe to be the best “Class of 2020” I could have imagined. I hope to see you all soon and celebrate IRL. By the way, what is stopping us from screaming IT’S FRIDAY, having a higher than average love of goats, or painting a rock in our yards?


Eleanor Kilmon

Class of 2020 President