We continue to closely follow the potential public threat posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
To the Manhattan College Community,
First, let me say how much I continue to be inspired by the tremendous energy and resilience of our faculty, students, and staff in the face of these extraordinary and disruptive events. As I said in my letter to the community last Sunday, every day I see amazing examples of people rising to the challenge, as we continue to pursue our core mission of excellence in teaching and learning, care for one another, and service to the community. I hope you’ve been following the stories on social media of Jaspers who are finding ways to support efforts to get us through this crisis. April is still Mission Month, even if we have to be especially creative in finding ways to celebrate it! See #JaspersOnaMission.
While I am sure that the major “news” I have to share today will not be a surprise, it is still heart-wrenching to confirm that we will not be able to host commencement in May.
In the midst of the current situation, not knowing how long we will be operating under restrictions on our ability to congregate and travel, it is simply impossible to contemplate, much less to plan and execute, an event bringing thousands of people to campus less than six weeks from today.
This does not mean, however, that we will not be celebrating our graduates—with great joy!—at a future date. While it will take a bit more time for us to settle on the exact dates, I can assure you that the class of 2020—undergraduates, graduate students, members of the Camino program and all who are finishing degrees in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies—will have the opportunity to come together, back on our beloved campus, to reunite, to be recognized for accomplishments and contributions, and to celebrate achievement.
All commencement events that normally would have taken place in May will be rescheduled to this future date: Spring Honors Convocation, Baccalaureate Mass, and Commencement ceremonies for graduate students and SCPS, and of course for the great class of 2020! In addition, Student Life is working with Student Government on how best to conduct the social events that are such an important part of the celebrations.
Again, my heart goes out to all who are working so hard and with such spirit to continue courses and provide support to our faculty and students. I am confident that we will emerge from this turmoil stronger than ever. To the class of 2020, you are in my thoughts and prayers as you work through what I know is a great disappointment. I look forward eagerly to the day, on the other side of this disruption, when we will gather you together once more before sending you off to do the wonderful things we know you will do.