We are delighted to announce that, due to recent changes in COVID-19 restrictions, we are confident that we can hold in-person commencement events for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021.
We will hold multiple ceremonies on the weekend of May 22-23 on the Thomas Athletic Field, with multiple layers of COVID-19 safety protocols in place. We are currently planning to hold separate ceremonies for each undergraduate class and a combined ceremony for graduate students from the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021.
Read President Chapdelaine's full message from March 26 below.
Information about the individual ceremonies will be announced by April 16.
Future Commencement Dates
- May 22, 2021
- May 21, 2022
- May 20, 2023
- May 18, 2024
Dear Classes of 2020 and 2021,
We are delighted to announce that, due to recent changes in COVID-19 restrictions, we are confident that we can hold in-person commencement events for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021. We are overjoyed that we will be able to gather together to celebrate each of you.
Based on your responses to the recent online survey, we know that an in-person celebration on campus with a limited number of guests was of great importance. Accordingly, we will hold multiple ceremonies on the weekend of May 22-23 on the Thomas Athletic Field. We are currently planning to hold separate ceremonies for each undergraduate class and a combined ceremony for graduate students from the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021. This plan is contingent upon the confirmed number of graduates planning to attend each ceremony. At each commencement ceremony, we will implement safety measures required by state and local public health officials, including controlled entrance and egress, temperature checks, face masks, physical distancing, occupancy limits, cleaning and signage.
It is expected that each graduate will be limited to TWO TICKETS, although this may be increased depending on the number of graduates attending and changes in social distancing and capacity restrictions. For planning purposes, we must have an accurate count of the number of graduates who plan to attend the ceremony on campus. All graduates who plan to participate in their commencement ceremony must RSVP by Friday, April 9.
Ceremonies will be live streamed. Additional information and further logistical details will be added to the commencement website as they become available. Questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
Dear Class of 2020,
In the spring, when we made the difficult decision to postpone our May commencement ceremony, we offered several options to you. The choice with the most positive response was October 10, 2020. That date offered a ceremony in your graduation year, on campus when current students would be on fall break, and hopefully when the worst of the pandemic had passed.
A lot has changed since that decision. To minimize the spread of COVID-19 on campus, we have adjusted the fall semester academic calendar, starting a week early (on August 17) and eliminating fall break in order to end the semester before Thanksgiving. And while COVID-19 infection rates in Frederick County are low, these rates have been sharply increasing in many parts of this country and internationally. Last week, Governor Hogan issued an executive order for people traveling to Maryland from those “hot spot” areas to be tested and self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. Taken together, these changes require that we reconsider our plan to hold your commencement ceremony on October 10. Accordingly, we recently polled members of the commencement committee, which includes students from the class of 2020. They unanimously recommended that commencement not be held on October 10 for the reasons noted above.
And so, we have made the painful decision to push back the 2020 commencement ceremony to May 2021, which was your second preferred option. Your commencement ceremony will be the same weekend as the class of 2021 (May 22-23, 2021), but you will have your own ceremony. And yes, Dean White will still be your commencement speaker. More details will be forthcoming but please hold those dates.
As I said to you several months ago, “there is one promise I will make – you will have a commencement. It is possible that the date, format, etc. may have to change but there will be a day that I will proudly, and with great joy, hand each one of you your well-earned diploma.” Knowing that day will come has helped sustain me, as I hope it has you during these difficult times.
You are Hood’s Class of Hope. Until then, stay safe, be well and continue to do great things. I cannot wait to welcome you back to your Hood home.
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
Dear Members of the Class of 2020,
I’m writing today to share with you a very difficult decision. Given the current predictions regarding the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have determined that May 16 is not a viable option for our 2020 Commencement ceremony, and we must postpone it. This also means postponing related activities, including Senior Week, the baccalaureate service, the ROTC commissioning ceremony, the doctoral hooding ceremony, the nursing pinning ceremony and the graduate degree reception.
While some schools are holding a virtual ceremony on their original commencement date, that has never been an option for Hood. I made a promise to you early on that you will have a commencement ceremony. And I have heard from many of you that that promise has helped mitigate some of the disappointment and sadness you are feeling due to the profound disruption the pandemic has caused.
Be assured that this is a postponement of celebrating your degree, not the degree itself. Based on the successful completion of your degree requirements, the Board of Trustees has voted to award your degree in May. Regardless of when we hold your commencement ceremony, as of May 16, 2020, you are a Hood College graduate.
The commencement committee met earlier this week, with a number of seniors and graduate students in attendance. Based on that meeting, we have identified three possible alternative dates for the ceremony. We’ve created a short survey outlining these options, and we are asking all 2020 graduates for input. The survey also includes space for you to provide your own thoughts.
Please complete the survey no later than Wednesday, April 8.
Your input will help us make the best, most student-centered decisions as we move forward with our plans. We will announce the selected date as soon as we can but no later than Friday, April 17.
I am so very sorry we will not be together on May 16, 2020, but we are planning ways for all of the Hood community to recognize and celebrate you, graduates, on that day until we can do so in person.
I am so proud of you all for not only what you’ve accomplished to get to this point, but also for how you have adapted under tremendous pressure and uncertainty. You continue to make me Hood Proud. Be well!
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.