Graduating seniors at the College of the Holy Cross got a message from an alumnus who's been in the news a lot lately.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government's top infectious disease expert, addressed the 707 graduates in Worcester college's livestreamed ceremony.
"I am profoundly aware that graduating during this time and in this virtual way, unable to celebrate in person this important milestone in your lives, with your friends, classmates and teachers, is extremely difficult," Fauci said. "I encourage you to stay strong and unflinching. The country and the world need your talent, your energy, your resolve and your character."
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Fauci, who has been in the national spotlight as the face of the White House's response to the coronavirus pandemic, graduated from Holy Cross in 1962. He studied classics, with a premedical concentration.
Friday's virtual celebration will be followed by an in-person commencement ceremony for the class of 2020 next year, the school said.
"The College of the Holy Cross holds a very special place in my heart," Fauci said. "The education that you and I have received at Holy Cross, steeped in Jesuit traditions, should suit us well to confront and ultimately overcome this historic pandemic."