Commencement Exercises 04/17/20

Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2020

Posted 04/17/2020


The commencement exercises for the Southwestern College Class of 2020 have been rescheduled for August 22-23, 2020. The college will also live-stream a virtual celebration of the graduating class on May 10 to mark the completion of their academic program.

The commencement planning team at Southwestern College has reviewed the results of the survey sent to graduating students. The survey had strong participation with an overwhelming majority expressing that they would prefer a traditional commencement ceremony held in late summer or August. Nearly 20% of the survey respondents expressed a preference for a virtual ceremony to be held in May. Given the input collected, the commencement planning team has decided to move forward in the following ways:

Virtual Celebration of the Class of 2020

Held May 10, 2020

A celebratory ceremony marking the completion of academic programs for our senior and graduate students was held via YouTube live-stream on May 10, 2020. The virtual ceremony included a conferral of degrees by President Brad Andrews and remarks from our Academic Dean, Ross Peterson-Veatch. It also included a brief address from Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez, who is a 1994 Southwestern College graduate and is serving on the college’s board of trustees. The celebration was not meant to replace our in-person commencement proceedings, which are being planned for August, but intended to celebrate and virtually gather the Class of 2020 on what would have been the day of their graduation day.

Diplomas will be sent via the US Postal Service with delivery confirmation to the student's permanent home address three to four weeks after May 10. If you have questions please contact our Registrar, Amanda McKimson.

Class of 2020 Commencement and Graduate Hooding Ceremonies

August 22-23

We are planning a traditional on-campus graduation ceremony for the weekend of August 22-23. This is the weekend immediately following the Moundbuilding Ceremony and Opening Convocation. As the fall semester begins on campus, it is always an exciting and celebratory time. It seems an appropriate moment to invite the Class of 2020 and graduate students back to campus to more fully celebrate their accomplishments at a formal commencement ceremony.

We are hopeful that we will be able to hold our typical graduate hooding ceremony and a commencement ceremony where the Class of 2020 can gather and be recognized in Jantz Stadium, as we normally do. However, we are asking that you reserve the full weekend in the event we may need to restrict the number of those gathering and schedule several smaller ceremonies throughout the weekend. Of course, as new public health information emerges and as decisions are made, we will communicate with graduates and their families. We are working to balance our strong desire to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates while taking the necessary health safety precautions.

Though students recognized as Order of the Mound will be notified before the virtual ceremony on May 10, the traditional celebration of Order of the Mound including the signing of the ledger is also being planned for the weekend of August 22. The Fran Jabara Leadership Awards, and the Charles H. and Verda R. Kopke Distinguished Teaching Award Faculty Recognition will be announced and celebrated as part of the August commencement ceremony.

Option to join commencement exercises

May 9, 2021

We know that there are many events being rescheduled and planned for the late summer and we anticipate that some of you may encounter scheduling conflicts. We also recognize that some of you may prefer a traditional May commencement ceremony. Accordingly, graduates of the Class of 2020 are welcome to participate and walk as part of our May 2021 commencement exercises where you will be recognized as members of the Class of 2020. For students who find that this is the best option, we ask that you notify the Registrar’s Office.

It is our intention to do everything we can to celebrate and honor the Class of 2020 and we hope that the options outlined above offer a solution for each graduate. We look forward to celebrating the accomplishment and promise that commencement signifies.

Additional details about the virtual celebration to be held on May 10 and the commencement ceremony planned in August will be sent out as plans are finalized. Updates will also be posted here.

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