Class of 2021

June 8, 2021

Dear families of graduating seniors,

We are looking forward to seeing you this weekend. Below you will find additional information that I hope will assist you in enjoying Commencement weekend.

  • On Saturday, June 12, from 4 - 5 p.m., the Baccalaureate Commemoration will be held in person, on Roger Hull Plaza in front of Schaffer Library.
  • On Sunday, June 13 at 10 a.m., Union College will hold its 227th Commencement for the Class of 2021 on Roger Hull Plaza.
  • Both events will take place outdoors, rain or shine. Information regarding Commencement weekend is available on the commencement website.

Health and Safety Protocols
Any individual attending the Baccalaureate Commemoration or Commencement will need to supply evidence of one of the following:

  • a completed vaccination series (at least 14 days beyond the last vaccine)
  • proof of COVID-19 illness and recovery within the last 90 days or
  • a negative COVID-19 test (PCR test administered within 72 hours of the event)

New York State guidelines require all attendees for the Baccalaureate Commemoration and Commencement to wear masks at all times and maintain 6’ social distance from individuals outside their households.

Baccalaureate Commemoration Overview
The Baccalaureate Commemoration will feature remarks from faculty speaker Professor Takashi Buma from the Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering Department, President David Harris and three members of the class of 2021: Isabella Demyan, Eeshan Kumar, and Alex Trousilek. Registration is not required for this event. Only guests who are registered by their graduating seniors to attend the Commencement ceremony on June 13 may also attend the Baccalaureate and must show their vaccination record, proof of recent COVID recovery, or a negative PCR test (not rapid test) received within 72 hours of the event.

Commencement Details
The Commencement ceremony will be conducted in front of Schaffer Library, rain or shine. The College will also live-broadcast the event in real time. Visit the Commencement site for additional details. Please check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. To avoid blocking the view of others, we encourage raincoats rather than umbrellas in case of rain. We recommend sunglasses, hats and sunscreen for sunny weather. Each graduate can bring up to 2 guests to the ceremony. In accordance with New York State guidelines, guests without tickets will not be admitted to the event. The ceremony and post-Commencement departmental gatherings will conclude around 1 p.m.

Tickets will be sent to graduates’ campus mailboxes starting June 8. Remote students can pick up tickets on Saturday, June 12 between 2 and 5 p.m., and Sunday, June 13 at 8 a.m., in Reamer Campus Center (first floor, Table 1). The bookstore will be open Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Awarding of degrees
To recognize each student individually, we will call graduates’ names in alphabetical order. We ask that parents and friends refrain from moving up to the platform or otherwise obstructing the flow of the procession to take pictures.

Professional Photographs
GradImages will take individual pictures of each senior when they walk across the stage. They will email your son or daughter’s Union email address a selection of proofs within 2 weeks, and you may purchase the photographs if you wish.

Departmental Gatherings
Following the recessional, post-Commencement departmental gatherings will be held at various outdoor locations. This is an ideal opportunity for you to take photographs of graduates with their favorite faculty members. A map detailing these locations is available on the Commencement site under “schedule.”

Guests may park at College Park Hall and along streets (please observe parking signs). Disability parking is available next to Lamont House; a blue DMV parking tag is required to use this lot. Drop-off is at the circle outside Old Chapel. Campus safety officers will be available to direct traffic. Golf carts will transport guests from College Park Hall to the main site. No reservation is needed.

Everyone at Union is looking forward to your visit. We hope that Commencement weekend is a memorable and pleasurable occasion for you.

Best regards,

Strom Thacker

Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs

May 11, 2021

Dear Class of 2021,

I write with good news regarding plans for our in-person Commencement celebration for the Class of 2021 on June 13, 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 graduating seniors. Only students can register their guests. Tickets will be sent to the seniors’ campus mailboxes by early June. For remote students, they can come to table 1 on the first floor of Reamer Campus Center (outside the elevator) on Saturday, June 12 from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., or Sunday, June 13 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. to pick up your reserved guest tickets. Note that only students 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 2021,

    We are delighted to announce that we plan to host an outdoors (rain or shine), in-person Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2021 at 10 a.m. on June 13, 2021. The ceremony will take place in the traditional location on Roger Hull Plaza, between Schaffer Library and the Nott Memorial. All graduating members of the Class of 2021, including those studying remotely this term, are eligible to attend, subject to certain health and safety requirements.

    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-Commencement 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 Commencement. 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 2021. In the meantime, stay tuned for further details, and we will continue to keep you apprised of any changes.

    Best of luck with the remainder of the spring term.

    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