Daniel Joy, Lord of the Manor, Thanks Class of 2020

Daniel Joy, Contributing Writer

Fordham College at Rose Hill holds Encaenia, its award ceremony, each May. During this ceremony, the college honors seniors who have won awards for excellence and recognizes all graduates for their dedication. A centerpiece of FCRH’s Encaenia is an address to the graduating class by a Lord or Lady of the Manor that provides a humorous take on the past four years. While we cannot celebrate Encaenia this May in the Rose Hill Gym, Lord of the Manor Dan Joy reflects on his past years at Fordham for the Ram:

Hello, my name is Daniel Joy and I will be your Lord of the Manor for the evening. As my speech is not live but rather printed in the Ram, you might be reading this outside of evening hours. If this is the case, please put it down and resume reading when the evening arrives. If you think my request is inconvenient, imagine being an international student who must Zoom into their 8:30 a.m. lecture at 2:30 a.m. local time. 

It’s an honor to be in the Ram. The Ram is a lot like ‘The Great Gatsby,’ which I was assigned to read in my Comp II class. They are both critically acclaimed, they both demonstrate a sheltered bourgeois view of the world, and I’ve lied about reading both of them. I prefer reading Fordham’s alternative news source The Paper or, as I like to think of it: the love-child of Vice TV and Highlights for Children. The newest Fordham newspaper in town, The Tablet, offers a libertarian perspective on current events. I read The Tablet, but only because the Koch brothers pay me to do so. 

Father Dzieglewicz told me this speech should be a “history of the graduating class.” History is shaped by people and we, the Class of 2020, are indebted to numerous people who have shaped us during our time at Fordham. We are also in debt, but we have another six months to ignore that fact. On the eve of graduation, I wish to thank the people who shaped the unique history of Fordham’s Class of 2020. 

I want to thank the professors who inspired us, who introduced us to new ideas, and who made classes in a windowless dungeon (Keating basement) bearable. I also want to thank them for printing Fordham’s mandatory attendance policy in their syllabi, but still allowing us to pass anyway. 

I want to thank the Ram Van drivers who put us onto great new music while making us fear for our lives. 

I want to thank P.O.D. for giving the people what they demanded: a single serving large spicy pickle that can be had for mere dollars of DCB. 

We owe our first-year year roommates who taught us that sharing is caring, even though we specifically said in our roommate agreement that our shampoo was ours. 

We owe the Fordham Republicans for teaching us that anything is possible, including getting thousands of dollars from the university to pay war criminals to speak on campus. 

We owe our parents who paid for our education. You have given us the honor of graduating, but I should let you know now that not all of us will be graduating with honors. 

We owe CAB, who brought us four years of incredible bingo games. God willing, they will one day bring us an incredible Spring Weekend too. 

We owe Public Safety, who has 20/20 vision for finding missing student IDs and complete night- blindness towards the smoke billowing off Edward’s Parade. 

We owe Father McShane who, like us, got waitlisted at Georgetown. Unlike us, he doesn’t mope about it to everyone on campus. 

We owe the construction workers bringing the McGinley Center into the 22nd century. They have been silent though to our calls to bring Martyrs’ Court out of the 19th century. 

We owe Pugsley’s, who served us chicken rolls despite our lactose intolerance. 

We owe Estrellita’s, who took us back despite our regrettable one-night stands with Chipotle. 

We owe Rods’, who brought live music to alternative music lovers and their uncomfortable roommates who also tagged along. 

Most importantly, we all need to thank ourselves. Before March, the most major change most of had faced at school was a change in major. Then, our week at home for spring break became a two-month hiatus from our cherished campus. We went from (sleeping through) in-person classes to (also sleeping through) Zoom classes. Our nights out at Mugz became family game nights. Our best friends went from being across campus to across the country. 

These last few months have been difficult for the Class of 2020, and this weekend will be even harder. We will not be walking across Keating steps on Saturday to accept our diplomas. We will not be having celebratory dinners at Mario’s or Enzo’s. We will not line up to ride the Ram in our robes. 

To get through this weekend and however many more weekends this pandemic contains, we must show grit, which the Fordham Class of 2020 has in spades. 

We survived orientation group ice breakers. 

We survived living on our own and doing our own laundry. 

We survived core classes outside of our interests. 

We survived work-study gigs, unpaid internships and RA positions. 

We survived the breakups of friend groups and the ends of romantic relationships. 

More than survive, the Class of 2020 thrived. We built a community out of more than 40 majors and nearly 50 states. We grew intellectually while growing personally. We loved one another and were loved back. We made trips outside our comfort zones and were rewarded handily for the trip. 

Here’s to us, Class of 2020. We did it.