School of Nursing virtual convocation celebrates Class of 2021 graduates

May 21, 2021

Via smartphone, a laptop, or a desktop computer, hundreds of new graduates—future nurses and practicing nurse professionals alike—together with family and friends, gathered round to join in the 2021 Rutgers School of Nursing Convocation, held virtually on May 20.

The newest crop of School of Nursing alumni, 545 all told, were saluted for their hard work and determination in completing rigorous programs of study to earn bachelor’s master’s, doctor of nursing practice, and doctor of philosophy degrees, as well as post-master’s certificates. Including the Class of 2021, the School of Nursing’s alumni number more than 13,300 nurses strong.

Brian Strom (MD, MPH), chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, told the graduates, “Today as we celebrate you and recognize the years of hard work and preparation that have brought you here, I’m confident that we can count on each of you to continue Rutgers’ work to advance research, policy, and interventions for a healthier and better-prepared future.”

Linda Flynn (PhD, RN, FAAN), dean and professor, also gave remarks. “Graduates, if you have ever doubted the importance of becoming a nurse, a nurse leader, or a nurse scientist, I hope that the events of the last year have removed all doubt,” she said. “Wherever your degree takes you, you are desperately needed to promote health and wellness, provide life-saving care, and protect people from harm. You have been prepared to be a member of an elite team that saves lives.”

Candace Elam (DNP, RN, CEN), who just earned her DNP, received the prestigious Stanley Bergen, Jr. MD, Medal of Excellence. She urged classmates to go forth to tackle health disparities. “With our education, training, and all that we’ve learned in these recent years, we can positively influence the lives of the patients, families, students, and communities we serve,” she said.

Argylle Wil Lubang, who served as president of the school’s student senate, and earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing, said “It has taken resilience and perseverance to get to this day, but we are finally here. . . We have so much more to learn, to do, and to accomplish in the next chapter of our lives.”

The virtual convocation, which features recorded remarks; a recognition slide for each graduate; and online posts from family, friends, and classmates; will remain available for viewing online throughout the year.

New Rutgers grads from 2021 and 2020 now have another reason to celebrate with Rutgers’ announcement that they will be feted at in-person ceremonies to be held this coming October. To view Rutgers School of Nursing’s virtual convocations, and for updates on future graduation events, visit