Eric Beatty headshotSPCS graduate Eric Beatty, ’00, GC’12, received the Gibb Family Distinguished Adjunct Alumni Award for 2020. Gibb Award recipients normally address graduates at SPCS Commencement Exercises. Since we are unable to hold Commencement as scheduled, we asked Beatty to prepare written reflections addressed to the SPCS class of 2020.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

I wish we were celebrating your accomplishments in the Robins Center surrounded by the pomp and circumstance of a graduation ceremony. Your hard work and achievements deserve that honor and recognition.

Receiving the Gibb Family Distinguished Alumni Award is humbling. As a member of the SPCS Alumni Association from 2012-2019, I had the honor to be involved in the selection of the previous seven recipients and have intimate knowledge of the love and support those recipients have for the SPCS. There are so many incredible alumni, just like all of you, who continue to make this university their home after graduation. Dedicated alumni continue to make selfless contributions of time, energy, money, and vision to help guide and support future SPCS endeavors.

It took a long time for education to become exciting to me. It did not happen in elementary school, high school, or even during my undergraduate years. But, something clicked for me when I started to work on my master’s degree at SPCS. My classmates were one of the tangibles that made my experience so significant and made education exciting. I was so intrigued listening to how the lesson of the day related to their real-life scenarios, I felt like I was readinga book I did not want to put down. Coupled with incredible faculty and feeling like the School was always available to support me, my SPCS education became a very special piece of my life.

After graduation, I wanted to remain involved with SPCS and continue my relationships with classmates. For that reason, I became involved with the SPCS Alumni Association. As graduates of the School of Professional & Continuing Studies, you are now alumni of the University of Richmond and members of the UR Alumni Association and the SPCS Alumni Association — both for free!

I hope you will stay involved, so you, too, can remain connected with your classmates. I encourage you to watch your emails, make sure your contact information is up-to-date in UR Online, and come to events on campus. This segment of your educational experience has reached a closure, but the experiences you can have as part of the Spider alumni network are never ending.