A Message to 2020 Graduates, from our Alumni



John Huddy, '93

Joshua Stockton, '12  Hung Doan '16


John Huddy, Class of 1993

To Villanova Class of 2020,

I have done a few things in my life that I have been proud of and one of them was the honor of giving the 90th commencement address at Villanova in May of 2017. I remember telling the 66 graduating seniors not to be afraid to ask for help in life and certainly to not be afraid to give help.

As a journalist with more than 20 years of experience, I explained that the people who often succeed are generally the ones willing to raise their hands and do the tedious jobs no one else wants to do, the ones who want to work, who want to learn, who want to grow, to rise to the occasion when necessary, to be courageous when faced with adversity

Now is that time. We are all facing adversity because of a global pandemic that has sickened millions of people and killed several hundred thousand thus far. There are many unknowns and many uncertainties. The world as we know it has changed. You need to be focused, serious and ready to tackle whatever may come.

I talked about life’s transitions during my speech. Little did I know that soon after I would go through a major transition in my own life – getting married, having a child and losing my job in a very public way. I would need to reinvent myself, refocus and find the fortitude to trudge forward.

Anyone who says they have no regrets, to me, is either a liar or a fool. I have plenty. I have made some good decisions in my life and some bad ones. I have remained principled and honest, and other times, made the easy choice or taken the easy way out, sacrificing my integrity and ethics. You will go through your own trials and tribulations. Learn from them. Be honest with yourself. Be humble. Take care of your family. Take care of each other. Save your money and invest in your future. Live a pure life.

I will leave you with this excerpt from song I like called “Ripple” by the Grateful Dead:

There is a road, no simple highway,

Between the dawn and the dark of night,

And if you go no one may follow

That path is for your steps alone


Stay safe, stay healthy and Godspeed.


John Trevor Huddy

Villanova Class of 1993

Joshua Stockton, Class of 2012

Class of 2020:

As a result of COVID-19, I can only imagine how difficult and frustrating it might feel. The cancellation of multiple events and activities that seniors typically enjoy must be upsetting, and it is completely understandable. Indeed, this is a difficult time. However, we will all pull through this and be even better through the things we learn! As frustrating and challenging this spring semester might feel, just remember that patience and resiliency are characteristics that will make you a better person.

You will soon grow older and reflect on the craziness of 2020, only to realize that it was just one of many obstacles you will face throughout your life. Life is all about mindset. The energy we put out in this universe is what we get back. So when we face challenges with courage and strength, observe nature’s beauty with happiness, and spread positivity with good actions and a smile, the universe will reward us when the time is right!

Stay strong, be safe, and continue to spread positivity in this world!

Sincerely and whole-heartedly,

Joshua D. Stockton, M.A.,
Clinical Fellow, Speech-Language Pathologist
Villanova Alumnus - Class of 2012


Hung Doan, Class of 2016

As Forrest Gump once said: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” The reason I quote this is because it describes life pretty accurately. These hardships and challenges, while difficult, help you grow and mature as a person. Some don’t experience these types of challenges until much later in life, but by experiencing it now it can help you better prepare mentally for any challenge that awaits you in the future.

Of course life doesn’t always happen according to plan, but it is important that we adapt, appreciate what we have and overcome this together. Please do not look at this time as something negative, but as an unforgettable experience that is unique to you and your class, that no other classes before or after can have. In these times, you have come together and persevered.

Congratulations class of 2020, may your resilience be the key to your success.