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Celebrating Our 2020 Graduates

Though we cannot gather in person to celebrate you in 2020, we are incredibly proud of all of our graduates and excited about the impact you will have on world as you move on from Vanderbilt into your new roles in life.

A message from the dean


2020 founder's medalist
Thea Autry, PhD in English, is the 2020 Graduate School Founder's Medalist.

Thea Jean Autry, from Katy, Texas, is this year’s Founder’s Medalist for the Graduate School. She is graduating with a doctor of philosophy in English. Thea’s research and teaching focus on U.S. literature and visual arts of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, with emphasis on theories of visuality, race, gender, sexuality, and cultural geography. She has earned numerous grants and scholarships, including a student-directed seminar grant from the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. She has been recruited as a reviewer by the European Journal of American Culture, and her paper proposals have been accepted at several national and international conferences. In her capacity as an officer in the English Graduate Student Association, she participated in the Tennessee Prison Books Project and college application workshops at Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet School in Nashville. Admired by her students, Thea designed and taught four well-received undergraduate courses. She is finishing a year in residence at Kenyon College after winning a prestigious Yarbrough Dissertation Fellowship and has multiple professional prospects lined up for the fall

The Celebration

Visit the Class of 2020 site for a message from Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente (Friday, May 8, at 9:00 AM), find virtual commencement Zoom backgrounds, learn how you can contribute your ideas on celebrating 2020 graduates in May 2021, and more.

View the Graduate School 2020 Conferral of Degrees Program and the Main Commencement Program.

Congratulations to all Vanderbilt graduates, and we'll see you on campus in May 2021 to celebrate properly!  #VU2020

 Banner congratulating graduates


We express our gratitude to the graduates shown below, who shared personal quotes and pictures with us. We hope you enjoy our tributes and share them with your family, friends and colleagues. Send us a message if you would like us to share your video on social media.


Master of Arts


 Hana Bacaj            Aanchal Bagga            Wil Morse            Khodadad Shoayb
Hana Bacaj   Bagga Aanchal    Wil Morse    Khodadad Shoayb
 Maria Silat   Wen Zhang     Wen Zhang    Qiuya Du
Maria Silat    Jonghyung Youn
    Wen Zhang     Qiuyu Du



Master Liberal Arts & Science


 Win Barker             Charles Blackmon             Alexandra Rockafellar          Megan Sykes
Win Barker
  Charles Otis Blackmon    Alexandra Rockafellar
  Megan Sykes


Master of Science


 Allegra Anderson            Pietra Bruni           Kenya Collins             Kaylee Johnson
Allegra Anderson   Pietra Bruni    Kenya Collins
  Kaylee Johnson
 Scott Williams    Hamid Zare        
 Scott Williams
   Hamid Zare


 Doctor of Philosophy


 Laura Adery            Karen Arndt           Abby Broughton             Olivia Carr
Laura Adery
  Karen Arndt
   Abby Broughton
  Olivia Carr
 Rhonda Caston    Chen Ye   Doug Clark     Kristen D'Onofrio
 Rhonda Caston
   Ye Chen
   Douglas Clark    Kristen D'Onofrio
 George Duffy    Jonathan Eldridge   Israel Flores     Andrea Gardiner
George Duffy   Jonathan Eldridge   Israel Flores   Andrea Gardiner
 Benjamin Gasser    Yuanjun Guo    Caoimhe Stack    Katherine Konvinse
Benjamin Gasser   Yuanjun Guo   Caoimhe Harrington Stack   Katherine Konvinse
 Susannah Larry   Harris Manning    Hasina Mohyuddin     Saramati Narashimhan
Susannah Larry   Harris Manning   Hasina Mohyuddin   Saramati Narasimhan
 Patrick O'Keefe   Salma Omer    Lilliana Tatiana Paz Lemus     Rose Perea
Patrick O'Keefe   Salma Omer   Lillian Tatiana Paz Lemus   Rose Perea
 Andrea Perreault   Neena Saha     Abigail Searfoss   Laurel Teller 
Andrea Perreault   Neena Saha   Abigail Searfoss   Laurel Teller
 Laine Walters Young            
Laine Walters Young