In the face of ongoing uncertainty during the COVID-19 public health emergency and following conversations with Student Senate, some of the senior class officers, Board of Directors leadership, senior team, the provost’s office, and student development, we have made the very difficult decision to postpone our Commencement ceremony scheduled for May 16.
I am saddened by the need to take this action, and I know it breaks the hearts of the Class of 2020 and their families. Spring is traditionally the time to celebrate the class’ entire Wittenberg experience, culminating in each graduate crossing the stage in Commencement Hollow. This cherished time was on track until upset by this global pandemic, but the journey surely does not end with a date as our class knows well.
As president, I promise that we will find a time to hold your Commencement ceremony. We are also in the process of reaching out to your speaker, Governor Albert Bryan ’89, in hopes that the date determined in consultation with the senior class officers works for him. Additionally, please know that the postponement will not affect our ability to confer degrees. We expect to mail all diplomas to those graduating shortly after May 16.
In the meantime, I want to thank the senior class leadership and our Student Senate for their graciousness in accepting this decision and for their overall understanding during this unprecedented time. None of us imagined what we are facing right now with the COVID-19 pandemic, but for the health and safety of all, it is the best decision for the Class of 2020 and our community.
I know that our seniors have been sharing some wonderful ideas to celebrate their time together virtually leading up to and on May 16. As those ideas come to fruition, I encourage all of us to share in their special moments with comforting words and actions to honor and recognize their achievements and all the ways in which they have made their mark on Wittenberg.
Mike Frandsen, Ph.D.