Message to the Class of 2020 regarding Commencement, April 2, 2020
Message to Class of 2020
With the College’s recent decision to close residence halls and move classes online for the spring semester, the Class of 2020 has been on my mind. While I firmly believe that Marist has made the right decisions to protect our college community against the spread of coronavirus, I know that our seniors are particularly impacted by the situation in which we find ourselves.
These last few months of your senior year should be a time of celebration and excitement, not disruption and uncertainty. You should be completing major academic projects, performing at concerts and plays, competing for championships, spending time with your friends, attending social events, making special memories, and reflecting on your college experience before entering the next phase of your life.
For this reason, it saddens me to inform you that we must postpone commencement. Marist’s commencement ceremonies will not be held on May 22-23. I use the phrase “postpone commencement” because we fully intend to hold one. At this time, I can’t tell you the exact date or location, but you will have a commencement! In the meantime, we’ll find other ways to celebrate your many achievements and create memorable moments for the senior class. When health officials tell us that it’s safe to hold major events, and when feasible, I will begin consulting with the senior class officers, seniors in student government, and members of our Parents Council to plan for the celebration of your graduation.
I want you to know that the Class of 2020 has left an indelible mark on our college community. I’ve gotten to know many of you personally, and I know that this class has produced many leaders and professionals who will have a dramatic positive impact on our society. These are deeply unsettling times, but we will recover and regain our momentum. Please also be assured that as soon-to-be alumni, you will always be an important part of the Marist community.
As you complete your courses online, I urge you to stay close to your classmates through social media and video conference platforms. Also, don’t forget to simply pick up the phone and call your classmates. During these trying times, it’s more important than ever for us to maintain the sense of community for which Marist is so well known. Be strong, stay well, and we’ll get through this together.
Dennis J. Murray