June 23, 2020

Watch Katherine Handy’s message to her classmates.

Katherine Handy ’20 is the chair of WPI’s Senior Class Board. A biomedical engineering major, Handy has been an active and essential part of WPI’s student leadership and offered valuable input into the reshaped plans for Commencement 2020. In this Q&A, Handy expresses admiration for the Class of 2020’s positive outlook and their ability to tackle problems head on.

Q: How has the Class of 2020 managed to continue with their last, and strikingly changed, semester at WPI? How did the Class of 2020 remain as a unit?

A: We have remained committed to WPI and its community through our academics, involvements, and relationships on campus. Despite the difficulties and the distance, we have used our resources and ingenuity to fulfill our academic and extracurricular responsibilities, facilitate the transition to online classes, and keep in touch with fellow classmates. We've strived to maintain a positive outlook in order to support and motivate our community.

Q: What activities, ideas, and changes will define the Class of 2020’s time here?

A: Our class has achieved a number of outstanding feats in the past four years and I would not be able to list them all even if I tried. They have been leaders and pioneers in and outside of the classroom. Through their work and advocacy, they have made immense strides to improve diversity, equality, mental health support and awareness, and community outreach among many others. Together, our class improved and fostered the betterment of campus and, most important, they motivated and inspired other classes to do the same.

Q: As the Class of 2020 becomes WPI’s newest alumni class and gets ready to disperse across the globe, what advice or thoughts would you like to share with your classmates?

A: The best advice I could give my class was something I learned from my Insight team during my sophomore year as a community advisor: “Don’t be afraid to set your own bar—say yes to the things that serve you and your passion. You determine how you live your life and what constitutes success.”

Q: Finish this sentence: The Class of 2020….

A: The Class of 2020 faced each challenge head on to become the best engineers/scientists, leaders, and people that they could possibly be.

-By Julia Quinn-Szcesuil