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Dear Community Members,

I hope this note finds you well as you transition from your life as college students to paving your path forward as graduates. In making this transition, the celebration of Commencement is a significant milestone, and this is what I write to you about today. 

Before sharing details, I’d like to share that the event will be different than the one we had envisioned in May. At the time, we believed we would be able develop a rescheduled Commencement weekend that closely resembles our traditional programs and events, and we worked diligently to make that goal happen. Unfortunately, in the face of operational and logistical challenges—which we continue to face because of the COVID-19 pandemic—a three-day event, including the Baccalaureate Mass, presents too great a risk to the health and safety of all those involved. As a result, we had to rethink the scale of the weekend and must forgo many supplemental activities. 

Commencement will now take place on Saturday, August 8, 2020 with a rain date of Sunday, August 9th. The ceremony will begin at 1:00 p.m. In keeping with a longstanding Stonehill tradition, we are inviting you to line up behind Donahue Hall at 11:30 a.m. in preparation for the procession down the Donahue steps. 

I remain committed to ensuring that Commencement will properly honor and celebrate you and your achievements as a class. Once again, I call on your spirit of resilience and ability to adapt to the unexpected, as I ask you to join me in making this special day one that is both joyful and meaningful.

I am aware that this news leaves you with many questions for me, and I want to hear from you. To that end, I will host a virtual meeting for the Class of 2020 on Wednesday, June 24th at 6:30 p.m. and hope to see many of you at that time. In particular, I would like to discuss hosting a special Class of 2020 reunion next year in conjunction with the annual Reunion that is held each May. Also, the Commencement page of our website will be updated by end of day Monday with additional information for you and your families to review.

Despite the many setbacks, I pray that we can make this rescheduled and revised Commencement special not just for you, the graduates, but also as a marker in Stonehill history that highlights the enduring spirit of the Class of 2020. 

Sincerely in Holy Cross, 

(Rev.) John Denning, C.S.C.