This spring, some 5,300 University of Iowa undergraduate, graduate, and professional students received their degrees under extraordinary circumstances. With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to upend traditional educational practices across campus and the country, the 2020-21 academic year has been a challenge.

Megan Mitchell of Rainsville, AL was among the students conferred their degrees. Mitchell was a student in the Graduate College whose program of study was Health Management and Policy. The degree awarded was a Master of Health Administration.

For more than a year, Mitchell and other Iowa students have made sacrifices to maintain health and safety-taking online courses, wearing face masks, and being mindful of social distance. Through it all, however, Hawkeyes have persisted and excelled. A graduating biomedical engineering student is a 2021 Rhodes Scholar. A biochemistry major was named one of only 17 Churchill scholars in the nation, while two other undergraduates, a math major and a biomedical engineering major, became Goldwater scholars.

Hawkeyes persevered outside the classroom as well. Note the student-run Daily Iowan, which earned "Newspaper of the Year" honors in Iowa, or the top-ranked wrestling team, which won a national championship. In the fight against COVID-19, student interns helped senior citizens schedule vaccine appointments, while students in pharmacy and nursing volunteered with vaccine rollout, especially in rural parts of the state.

Coming together for the greater good-that's the Hawkeye Way. As yet another semester during the pandemic comes to a close, we can count on one thing: Our graduates leave campus full of exciting potential and promise.

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