A Message from Barbara Bowman to the Class of 2020

Dear Graduates,

It doesn’t seem possible, does it? Your years at Erikson are over, and without a formal farewell, you are moving on. I’m disappointed that I won’t be handing you a yellow rose, the symbol of your completion of an Erikson program. The ceremony is always emotional for me, because I get to congratulate another group of professionals who have mastered the rigorous academic Erikson program. But even more rewarding is knowing that graduation signals your commitment to children and families, all children and families. And even without our traditional farewell, you are carrying the Erikson legacy forward.

The world is a different place now. The pandemic is, and will continue, challenging us both personally and communally. But the world is always becoming a different place, so it’s helpful to remember that this is not the first local or global event to require us to readjust to the environment and to each other. I can assure you that looking back over the last 91 years, I have frequently said, “there has never been a time like this” and “how can we manage?” Yet, we have always made the necessary changes and moved towards our vision of a better world for our children.

I’m confident that your Erikson education has prepared you for this new world. Your understanding of the science of child development, the importance of relationships, the ethics of human service, and the practice of reflection are the tools that will help you serve children and families well. Your desire to make a positive difference will guide your next steps. I am proud of you as Erikson graduates, and I welcome you as professional colleagues.