Alumni News – May 2020

Welcome the Class of 2020 to the CWRU Alumni Family

Graduation cap with message on top - The Best is Yet To Come

Case Western Reserve University will celebrate the Class of 2020 on Sunday, May 17, in a virtual commencement ceremony. With this nontraditional graduation event—and an abrupt end to their final months as students—we want to make sure our newest grads feel welcome to the alumni community.

Case Western Reserve will stream its virtual commencement ceremonies on Facebook and at May 17. You can tune in to the ceremonies—starting with convocation at 9 a.m. EDT, where William F. Baker, a triple alumnus and 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, will remotely deliver the convocation address. After, each school ceremony will be available on the school Facebook pages and on

While you watch, share your congratulations messages in the comments on Facebook, or share celebratory messages on social media using the hashtag #CWRUGrad2020.

Together, we can make this unprecedented school year and commencement a special experience for the Case Western Reserve Class of 2020.

Watch the Class of 2020 commencement ceremonies, Sunday, May 17, 9 a.m. EDT on or Facebook.

Spartans Step Up Debuts May 13

Case Western Reserve is launching Spartans Step Up, webcasts focusing on the university’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new, virtual series kicks off at 11 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 13, with “Understanding COVID-19: A look at its spread, diagnosis, treatment, healing and prevention.” 

CWRU School of Medicine Incoming Interim Dean and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Stan Gerson will serve as moderator for an expert panel featuring: 

  • Peter Tippett (GRS ’81, biochemistry; MED ’83), founder of careMESH Inc. and author of the LinkedIn post "Saving Your Health One Mask at a Time," and
  • Heidi Gullett, an associate professor in the School of Medicine, associate director of the Center for Community Health Integration and medical director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. 

All webcasts will include a live Q&A session.
Upcoming episodes will cover remote teaching and learning, economic recovery, career navigation, entrepreneurship, protecting the elderly population, staying mentally positive, and recognizing and supporting those most vulnerable to the disease. 
For updates on the dates and times of future episodes, follow The Alumni Association on Facebook.  
Join the livestream or watch on Facebook Wednesday, May 13, at 11 a.m. EDT.

COVID-19: Share Your Story

Case Western Reserve’s Kelvin Smith Library is asking the university community to participate in “COVID-19: Share Your Story.” The project invites alumni, students, faculty and staff to share their experiences during this unprecedented time to contribute to the university archives. 

We want to hear your stories about:

  • Working from home
  • How you are staying in touch with family and friends
  • Details about self-quarantining and social distancing

Your personal viewpoints will help us record this moment in history for future members of the Case Western Reserve University community.  

Learn more about submission guidelines.

Join CWRU Connect: Alumni Career Network

The Alumni Association's online alumni directory has been updated and improved. CWRU Connect: Alumni Career Network now includes a component specializing in career networking—allowing alumni to connect with former classmates and professionals based on career fields. They can also volunteer to mentor current students, recent graduates and alumni. 

To join, alumni can upload their LinkedIn profile or sign up via email. Then, participants can join communities of alumni and students who share their interests or live nearby. Interested alumni can join at

This new directory and networking platform is the product of alumnus John Knific (CWR '09), co-founder, president and chief operating officer of Wisr, a Cleveland-based educational technology company. This online space, allowing alumni and students to easily connect, received a Venture Innovation Award at the 2017 ASU+GSV Summit. Case Western Reserve’s Office of Undergraduate Admission also uses other networking platforms developed by Wisr. 

Knific, who is an EdTech Exec and DecisionDesk CEO/co-founder and was among Bloomberg Businessweek’s Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs in 2007, was a recent guest on the CWRU Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship’s CWRU Entrepreneurship Alumni Speaker Series. Watch the recording of the event.

All In Together: Join Us June 9 for ‘Day of Giving’

Next month, we will celebrate the extraordinary efforts of the Case Western Reserve community in the fight against COVID-19.
Our faculty, staff, students and alumni began mobilizing in March, and have only increased their contributions over time. They have worked with public health officials, pitched in to help health care workers with household errands, and gathered by the hundreds to research potential treatments and other measures to quell the pandemic.  
You can learn more about their impact during our annual Day of Giving on Tuesday, June 9, as we come together to raise support to continue the battle against this deadly disease.
Watch your email and social media in the coming weeks for more information about the event. And, if you are moved to help now, you can visit our COVID-19 giving page today.