Union announced today that it has postponed its 226th Commencement ceremony due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The traditional ceremony was scheduled to be held 10 a.m. Sunday, June 14, on Hull Plaza. A new date for an in-person event honoring the nearly 500 members of the Class of 2020 will be announced later.
“After careful consideration and deep reflection, we have determined we must move the campus ceremony to a later date to be determined,” President David Harris and other college leaders wrote in a letter to seniors.
“While conditions in New York continue to improve, current state regulations do not allow us to bring large numbers of people to campus. Like the vast majority of schools in New York and across the country, we have concluded that it is unlikely that changes in safety and social distancing requirements will come quickly enough to allow for the kind of interaction and celebration you want and deserve.”
Despite the postponement for the formal ceremony, a brief virtual ceremony will take place June 14 to confer degrees to all graduates. Details are still being finalized.
The letter noted that through a virtual senior class meeting and a class survey, “we heard clearly that seniors most value the opportunity to gather to commemorate their achievements, reflect on their shared experience and celebrate the rich traditions of the College. We also heard clearly that seniors value the welfare of all members of our community.”
College leaders will continue to work with representatives of the senior class to determine the best time to bring the Class of 2020 back to campus for a formal ceremony and to celebrate with friends and family.
Of the postponement, the letter acknowledged, “We know this news is disappointing for you, as it is for everyone at Union. We hope you understand that this decision was made to protect your health and safety and that of our community.”