Message to Class of 2020: More Details on Degree Conferral Ceremony on May 17, 2020

April 16, 2020

Dear Members of the Class of 2020:

As you know well, among the great disappointments caused by the coronavirus pandemic is our inability to gather safely as a University community together with your parents, guardians, and loved ones and celebrate your many accomplishments with the traditional Commencement ceremonies and festivities we had planned for May 15-17, 2020. Instead, the full celebration of your Commencement has been postponed until Memorial Day weekend 2021, when we will gather to properly honor our 2020 graduates with a Commencement ceremony in Notre Dame Stadium, a Commencement Mass, and other ceremonies and events to mark this important occasion in your lives and the life of Our Lady’s University.

As previously announced, we will have an online Degree Conferral Ceremony on Sunday, May 17, at 1:00 p.m. EDT. The purpose of this ceremony is to allow me, as President, to confer upon you, with the recommendation of your Dean, the degree you have earned. You can then, with a Notre Dame degree, begin the next chapter of your life, whether that involves further studies, a career path or service.

In designing the online ceremony, we received some very helpful feedback from student leaders, who urged us to keep the virtual conferral simple, with few speeches, so as not to try to duplicate those Commencement activities that can only be fully appreciated in-person, surrounded by family and friends. Thus we are constructing a virtual program that, we hope, both honors this wise advice and will be meaningful to you and your loved ones. Additional details about the conferral ceremony will follow, as will more information about Memorial Day weekend 2021.

We would like to send each graduate a small gift in time for the May 17th ceremony. In order to do this, we need your help in one important regard. If you will be at an address other than that shown as your home address on insideND, please let us know by no later than Tuesday, April 28, by emailing: address.1@nd.edu.

Let me express my deep gratitude to you and your families, for your patience and understanding in this difficult situation. Although I wish we could gather next month in person, I am comforted—as I hope you are—by knowing that there will be a time when we can celebrate together on campus. While we could not have foreseen the challenges our world currently faces, I know you will use your Notre Dame education to make a difference where you can. For your devotion, tenacity and resiliency in the face of adversity, Class of 2020, you will have a special place in the annals of Notre Dame, among the many inspiring stories of courage and fortitude already written there.

In this Easter season, you are in my daily thoughts and prayers.

In Notre Dame,

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President