Members of McKendree University’s Class of 2020 will get their diplomas, but they’ll have to wait a year to gather in celebration.
The university announced Wednesday that this year’s class will celebrate their graduation in May 2021, during commencement weekend.
The Class of 2020 undergraduates will have the opportunity to gather next year—on Friday, May 7, 2021, at 2 p.m.—for the traditional baccalaureate ceremony on the front lawn of the Lebanon, Ill., campus. Those who are receiving master’s and doctoral degrees may join the Class of 2021 next year at commencement exercises on Saturday, May 8, at 2 p.m.
At McKendree’s Radcliff, Ky., campus, commencement for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 will be held jointly next year on June 10.
“We believe this will allow our 2020 graduates and their families time to plan to return and to celebrate their accomplishments in a way that most closely resembles how their commencement ceremony was intended,” said President Daniel Dobbins. He announced the university’s plans in a video message released on April 29.
The university will mail diplomas to the 2020 graduates upon completion of their degree requirements so that they may start their careers and update their résumés. McKendree is committed to celebrating its graduates’ accomplishments in an appropriate manner in the future, while protecting the health and safety of the campus community during the current coronavirus (COVID-10) pandemic.
“The actions we are taking will provide the very best opportunity for the public health threat to subside and for graduates and their families to sufficiently plan to return, if they choose to do so,” said Dobbins. “We look forward to welcoming them and their families back to campus in 2021 for a wonderful celebration.”