Recently, much of the information we have shared regarding COVID-19 and the impact on our campus has been to announce changes to our campus experience and the postponement or cancellation of events.
This message, however, will hopefully bring something for our students to look forward to, particularly our class of 2020 and their families. As we shared with you previously, all College-sponsored events through May 9 are either canceled or postponed. That timeline includes our spring commencement ceremony, originally scheduled for May 9.
In examining opportunities to move commencement to a new date, and after discussing our options with students, faculty and administration, we are now planning for a commencement ceremony during our 2020 Homecoming Weekend, Friday, Sept. 25 – Sunday, Sept. 27.
WATCH: An Update Regarding Commencement for the Class of 2020
At this point, there is still much to be determined, primarily the exact date and time for the ceremony, as well as how this may impact our schedule of events for Homecoming. We are also cognizant that the situation with COVID-19 is ever-changing and there is no way to predict the length of time that this crisis will last. We remain hopeful that planning for a ceremony in the fall will allow us to hold commencement with so many Bearcats, families, loved ones and friends on campus to celebrate.
I also want to assure our graduating seniors that they will still receive their degrees in May, provided they have completed the necessary graduation requirements prior to the end of the semester. The only change that comes with moving commencement to a later date is when we are celebrating the many achievements of the class of 2020.
As we further develop these plans for commencement and Homecoming, we will continue to communicate with you. We appreciate your patience as we work to properly recognize this graduating class who have been so resilient as their final semester of college ends in a much different manner than anyone anticipated.
I hope that you and your families are safe and healthy, and you all remain in my prayers and the prayers of the monastic community.
Rev. Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B.