LATROBE, PA – In light of the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Saint Vincent College has announced updated plans for its spring 2020 commencement.
The traditional commencement ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, May 9, will now be held on Sunday, Sept. 27, in conjunction with Saint Vincent College’s annual Homecoming Weekend. Despite the postponement of the on-campus event, more than 330 Saint Vincent College bachelor’s and master’s degree recipients will be recognized on May 9 with a special virtual commencement ceremony.
“Being forced to postpone our spring commencement ceremony in the Carey Center was disappointing for all of us, but especially our graduating seniors,” said College president Father Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B. “It has been a semester full of challenges for our students. We hope that the virtual ceremony this weekend will give our graduates and their loved ones an opportunity to participate in a meaningful shared experience while they receive the recognition that they rightly deserve.
“One of the defining characteristics of Saint Vincent College is community, and we are looking forward to being together on Homecoming Weekend, when we will further recognize the Class of 2020 and all its achievements. We hope that it will be a special experience for our graduates, their loved ones and our entire Bearcat community.”
The Sept. 27 event will take place at 2 p.m. in the Robert S. Carey Student Center gymnasium and will be preceded by the 11 a.m. Baccalaureate Mass in the Carey Center’s Performing Arts Center. The event will include all traditional elements of spring commencement, with Jeri Eckhart Queenan serving as principal speaker. Queenan is senior partner at The Bridgespan Group, a global nonprofit organization that collaborates with mission-driven leaders, organizations and philanthropists to break cycles of poverty and injustice. A former trustee of Saint Vincent College and Seminary, Queenan has held leadership positions in the private, public, nonprofit and faith sectors. She is heavily involved in the revitalization of the Catholic Church and deeply committed to the Benedictine community.
In lieu of the postponed on-campus ceremony, Saturday’s virtual commencement will provide an opportunity to celebrate the 2020 Saint Vincent graduates on the official date of the conferral of their degrees. The online celebration will involve traditional ceremonial components, including formal remarks and conferral of degrees for undergraduate and graduate students, while it will also include messages from Saint Vincent College administrators, faculty, students and alumni.
The virtual ceremony will be available for viewing on the Saint Vincent College website and YouTube channel at 11 a.m. on Saturday.