St. Olaf College in Northfield Minnesota will hold a virtual graduation ceremony for the entire class of 2020.
Last week, St. Olaf’s Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion announced that it will hold three virtual graduation ceremonies in lieu of the traditional proceedings for students of color, LGBTQIA+ students and international students amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, the school had not announced any plans to hold a ceremony for the entire student body until 2021.
However, the school has since updated this plan. St. Olaf’s Vice President of Student Life, Dr. Hassel Andre Morrison, sent an email to students, Friday, outlining a newly published plan to hold a virtual celebration for this year’s entire graduating class in addition to the postponed 2021 ceremony.
“St. Olaf is planning to celebrate all graduating seniors in several ways,” the school’s Vice President wrote. “On Sunday, May 24, we will release a recorded Class of 2020 celebration with remarks from President Anderson and various leaders of the college… We will also mail a gift box to all seniors with a few items to help them remember their time on the Hill.”
Morrison also noted how difficult the decision to delay the usual in-person graduation ceremony was, stressing that the decision was made in the interest of safety amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
“Postponing our on-campus commencement ceremony was a painful decision to make, but was one we needed to do for the health and safety of our campus,” he said.