Class of 2020

May 11, 2021

Dear Class of 2020,

I write with good news regarding plans for our in-person Commencement celebration for the Class of 2020 on June 20, 2021. Recent changes in New York State guidelines now permit us to host guests (up to two per graduating student) at the live ceremony on Roger Hull Plaza, rather than at previously planned separate livestreaming locations elsewhere on campus. The remaining health and safety measures and guidelines identified in the April 15 email from President Harris, Dean Brown-McClure and me remain in place.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Every graduating student who attends the Commencement ceremony must register for the event by Monday, May 24, 2021. The registration link has already been sent out to the Class of 2020. Only graduates can register their guests. Graduates can come to table 1 on the first floor of Reamer Campus Center (outside the elevator) on Saturday, June 19 from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., or Sunday, June 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. to pick up your reserved guest tickets. Note that only graduates can pick up tickets for their registered guests. Guests may not pick up tickets themselves.

As we have seen throughout the pandemic and are witnessing now, conditions and state guidelines continue to evolve. We will continue to keep you updated about any changes in our plans. In the meantime, please refer to our Commencement website and FAQs for current information. For any Commencement questions not answered there, please contact Emily Tong at

We are tremendously proud of the commitment to each other that the members of the Union community have demonstrated during this challenging year-plus. Thank you in advance for maintaining that commitment so that we can celebrate the accomplishments of your class in person.

Best regards,

Strom Thacker
Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Message on April 15, 2021

  • Dear Class of 2020,

    Greetings from campus. We write today with exciting news. On June 20, 2021, Union College will host an outdoor (rain or shine), in-person celebration of the Class of 2020 at 10 a.m. The ceremony will take place in the traditional Commencement location on Roger Hull Plaza, between Schaffer Library and the Nott Memorial. All who were eligible to participate in last year’s Honoring U ceremony, as well as any additional students who have since completed their graduation requirements, are invited to attend.

    Current New York state guidelines limit the size of these kinds of gatherings and require that all who attend supply evidence of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR test administered within 72 hours of the event) or a completed vaccination series (at least 14 days beyond the last vaccine). This means that we will not be able to accommodate outside guests at the ceremony location, but two ticketed guests of each graduate will be welcome to join us at a separate outdoor, on-campus location to view the ceremony. The ceremony will also be livestreamed online for off-campus audiences.

    In addition, we will be hosting post-ceremony academic department and program gatherings at various outdoor locations across campus where smaller groups of graduates, faculty, staff and ticketed guests will be able to visit and take pictures.

    All attendees will be required to register in advance and to observe masking and social distancing guidelines at all campus gatherings.

    You can find more details on our Commencement website and FAQs page. We will update these sites as new information becomes available.

    The past 14 months of the pandemic have brought extraordinary challenges to our Union community. We are so proud of how our community has responded in extraordinary ways to put us in a position to be able to plan for an in-person celebration. While conditions and state and College guidelines always remain subject to change, we are excited to have this opportunity to honor and celebrate the Class of 2020. In the meantime, stay tuned for further details, and we will continue to keep you apprised of any changes.

    We hope all is well with you and look forward to welcoming as many of you to campus as can make it on June 20.

    Best regards,

    David Harris

    Strom Thacker
    Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs

    Fran’Cee Brown-McClure
    Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs