Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,
I have sent the note below to all of our students and parents to share the details regarding the commencement plans for spring 2020. We will also be posting information to the University’s commencement webpage.
I’m grateful for your patience and ongoing support. The entire University community looks forward to celebrating the achievements of the 2020 class at the appropriate time.
When the Coronavirus outbreak grew more intense and it became clear that we would have to close Duquesne’s campus for the spring semester, my mind turned quickly to Commencement. We have been considering every way possible to hold a campus celebration. It is now clear that circumstances will prevent us from holding a regular on-campus Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 8, when it is presently scheduled on the academic calendar.
I am committing to you, however, that we will come together at an appropriate point in the fall semester and hold a proper commencement celebration, in person, in keeping with our longstanding tradition at Duquesne. Nothing replaces a live ceremony and we will hold one to honor your achievements, your wonderful work, and your persistence in the face of all you have endured during this unprecedented time. We will do so with your families and friends, all as a great Duquesne family, and I will proudly stand on the stage to watch you march in caps and gowns and receive your well-earned diplomas. We just won’t be able to do that on May 8.
We will not let that date pass, though, without some celebration. We want to observe Commencement 2020 in some way on Friday, May 8, with a virtual celebration that students scheduled to graduate that day can watch together with their families. The virtual event will not be a replacement for the live ceremony we will ultimately hold, but it will give us a way to mark, as a community, the completion of your work and to celebrate the degrees you will have earned. It will also ensure that your degree is officially conferred on that day, and so it is reflected on your transcript. We are working on details for such a celebration and will share them with you and your families as soon as we are able.
Students in the law school, pharmacy school, and certain graduate students in health sciences who are scheduled to have ceremonies at a later date will have these rescheduled, in consultation with the deans of those respective schools.
Your accomplishments matter a great deal. Nothing is more important to what we do at Duquesne than to recognize what you achieve. I look forward to the initial celebration in May and to the bigger, more formal event, in the fall semester.
I look forward to providing more information about these special events in the weeks (and months) to come. Continue to study hard, do a great job on your coursework, and stay connected with your family and classmates.