Cooper Sved, Class of 2021 Student Commencement Speaker

May 10, 2021
Cooper Sved, Master of Teaching graduate, was selected by the full-time faculty to present remarks on behalf of students at the SPCS 2021 Commencement ceremony

Cooper Sved, graduating with a Master of Teaching degree from the University of Richmond School of Professional & Continuing Studies, was selected by faculty to present remarks on behalf of graduating SPCS students at 2021 Commencement Exercises on May 8, 2021. In his speech, reproduced below, Cooper reflected on the challenges of the past year while extolling graduating students’ perseverance and tenacity.

Video Address

Starts at the beginning of Sved’s speech


Commencement Address

I am so incredibly excited and humbled to be speaking here today. My time at the University of Richmond began with me hectically circling North Court, trying my hardest to find my interview location. And now, two years later, I am leaving U of R with an immense sense of gratitude, a deep understanding of the teaching profession, and more screen time under my belt than I care to admit. 

As a student in the Master of Teaching program, I had the privilege of spending each and every day with young students who, somehow, were able to hold it together better than some adults. Every day, I learned how to stay positive, stay enthusiastic, and most importantly, stay strong.

Let’s just acknowledge how crazy it is that we are here today! Every single person graduating this spring had their educational lives and personal lives turned upside down last March. Did we give up? No. Did we let it get the best of us? Maybe sometimes. 

But the moral here is that we persevered through the last year with a deep, undying commitment to what we do and the people we work with. At the University of Richmond, we were, somehow, able to stay a family. That is something to be incredibly proud of. I thank you for your time, and I wish you the best of luck as you take this exciting next step in your careers.

Biographical Summary

Cooper Sved graduates from the University of Richmond with a Master of Teaching degree, including endorsements in Elementary Education and Theatre Education. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019 and was active in Richmond’s theatre community, both as an actor and an educator. 

Sved has extensive theatre education, performance, and directing experience. Companies include Centerstage Performing Arts Camp, The School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC), and Virginia Repertory Theatre.

After spending the past two years at UR earning his master's degree, Sved looks forward to beginning his teaching career in Northern Virginia in the fall. His career switch to public education includes a focused interest in pedagogy, research, and policy.