IDS Graduates Largest Class Ever at Spring 2023 Commencement Ceremony
By William Lineberry
University College, Honors College
University College’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program graduated its largest class–92 students– to date Friday, Mat 12 at the Singleton Center for Performing Arts on Virginia Commonwealth University’s Monroe Park Campus.
Students’ chosen families and friends joined University College faculty and staff in celebrating IDS students and to wish them well as they proceed on to the next chapter in their personal and professional lives.
IDS director, Zach Hilpert, Ph.D., praised graduates in his remarks at the ceremony for taking on the challenge of studying multiple disciplines as interdisciplinary scholars.
“Unlike most of the other graduates across campus being celebrated this week, each of these graduates has studied extensively in multiple disciplines,” Hilpert said. “But these students have not simply successfully studied two, or three, or four or five different subjects. Instead, they have become knowledgeable in multiple areas of expertise, while also pondering the overlapping, interconnected ways in which those subjects come together to create new knowledge.”
The alum speaker at the graduation was Edmund P. Hannum (‘20, Interdisciplinary Studies), who encouraged graduates to remain open to possibility and expect change.
University College Dean Constance Relihan, Ph.D. told graduates in her remarks that they are leaving VCU with a degree that will serve them well in a time where the world’s biggest problems are solved through interdisciplinarity.
“The interdisciplinary education you have pursued has pushed you to explore the connections between disparate fields of study and to develop multiple ways of thinking so that you will be prepared to solve complex problems, address emerging issues and contribute to the betterment of your communities and businesses,” Relihan said. “Your intersectional and outside-the-box areas of knowledge and skills will make you uniquely prepared for wherever your life’s journey leads.”
The interdisciplinary education you have pursued has pushed you to explore the connections between disparate fields of study and to develop multiple ways of thinking so that you will be prepared to solve complex problems, address emerging issues and contribute to the betterment of your communities and businesses.
IDS graduates' areas of concentration, which every IDS student is required to have, demonstrated how each graduate combined their interdisciplinary interests into one cohesive concentration. Some concentration areas for fall graduates included:
- Business in the Fashion World
- Spanish Language Advocacy for Latin X Communities
- The Philosophy and Science of Consciousness
- Public Health
- Telling Stories through Different Lenses