Interim President Marcia J. White shared the following message with 2020 graduates:
Dear 2020 Graduate,
I know you have waited for an update on graduation, so let me start by going straight to the point: we will honor the Class of 2020 with your own in-person commencement. But it has become clear we cannot hold that ceremony this September as we had hoped.
Months ago, when we announced that we were targeting September for the kind of ceremony Saint Rose graduates have come to expect, we were optimistic about the nation’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted so much to give you an in-person commencement in your graduating year and to properly celebrate your years of hard work to earn your bachelor’s or master’s degrees.
However, in New York State, indoor social gatherings are still limited to fewer than 50 people, and cases of COVID-19 throughout the United States are increasing, prompting an ever-growing list of states impacting visitors who must quarantine for two weeks after entering New York.
A large outdoor ceremony is not any more practical at a time MLB games are being played in empty stadiums for safety. Small-scale outdoor celebrations that some high schools used to honor their graduates aren’t the kind of pomp and circumstance you deserve as college graduates.
We plan to hold a separate ceremony for our 2020 graduates during commencement weekend May 7-9, 2021, at a time we pray the COVID-19 pandemic will be over. We heard our 2020 graduates when they said it would take away from their achievement to combine their commencement with the next graduating class, and we understand.
We know that some of you have already ordered caps and gowns, while others may wish to do so for photos. You can order caps, gowns, diploma frames, etc., using this link, and those items will be shipped to your home at no charge. Anyone who has already ordered a cap and gown will receive information providing them with the next steps. If you do not hear something shortly and have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who completed their degrees in May 2020 will receive their diplomas in the mail by the first week of August.
We know this commencement ceremony news is disappointing, but it is also out of our control. What we can control is that your accomplishments are not forgotten and that you will have your day on the commencement stage. A year will have gone by since you earned your degrees, but our pride in you will never expire.