May 15: Commencement 2020 Update
Dear Class of 2020,
I know what a disruption to your final college semester this pandemic has caused, and I want to express how proud I am of each of you as I have watched your resilience in the face of this crisis. None of you began this year thinking that you would be completing your degree remotely, away from campus, faculty and your classmates. This has not been easy, but I am proud of each of you and for all that you have been able to accomplish and achieve during your time at Merrimack despite recent challenges.
The largest disruption by far was the postponement of your graduation. This was a decision we did not make lightly but did so to keep our students, their families and the community safe as new information regarding the coronavirus came to light. Having been a part of more than 30 graduation ceremonies during my academic career, I understand the importance of this incredible milestone – a symbol of dedication and a hard-earned achievement. In the life of any college student, there is no more important and proud moment than that of crossing the stage and receiving your degree. As I said back in April, I will do everything I can to give you that moment.
Therefore, today I write to share the good news that Merrimack College will hold Commencement 2020 on August 8, 2020 on Merrimack’s campus. Details regarding the celebration, including days for Senior Week activities prior to the ceremony on Saturday, August 8, will be forthcoming over the next several weeks. These details will also include how we intend to hold the ceremony safely, as well as how health and safety guidelines developed by the State of Massachusetts and the Centers for Disease Control will be applied to the event. We will continue to monitor the developments of the pandemic, as well as will heed the advice of federal, state and local mandates on holding large gatherings, and we will continue to comply with all guidelines. The health and safety of our graduating students and their families continue to be our highest priority.
Each of you have worked hard to get to this moment and deserve the opportunity to celebrate with your classmates, faculty, families and the wider community. I look forward to congratulating you in person. Until that day, I hope you take a moment this weekend to reflect on your Merrimack journey and be proud of all that you have accomplished. See you in August for what will be a wonderful, belated, graduation celebration.
God Bless you all. Be safe. Be well and take care. Go be a warrior!
P.S. Be on the lookout for a special message from a Merrimack Alum on Sunday and keep your eye on your mail as we are sending graduates something special.
Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D.