April 27, 2020

To the CBU Community:

Resilience. It’s a word that has taken on a new meaning these last weeks in the midst of a global pandemic, as we witness doctors, nurses, and families heroically rise to the occasion and meet the needs of our community. In the course of just days, our world changed drastically as social distancing forced our residential students to return home; compelled our faculty, staff, and students to teach, work, and learn from new environments; and totally altered our large-scale celebrations.

We understand and appreciate the many challenges this situation has imposed on you and your loved ones. At the same time, we have been encouraged and heartened as we have seen the resilience of countless individuals within our educational community embracing our new reality. As a Lasallian institution, we value the contributions of each individual and, at this time, we especially wish to celebrate our Class of 2020 — and their collective resilient spirit — as our graduates most certainly deserve.

A couple of weeks ago, graduates received an online survey requesting feedback regarding Commencement — which, as you all know, was originally scheduled for early May. With more than half of all graduates responding, the University has reviewed and endorsed their consensus recommendations, which included:

  • A stand-alone Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2020 in the Fall. This will be a singular celebration for all candidates receiving an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree.
  • A Baccalaureate Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the Friday evening of the chosen weekend.

Based on the feedback received from the graduating class, the University will not pursue a virtual ceremony option at this time.

Once the University receives the appropriate guidance from local government and health officials to resume normal operations, we will communicate the particulars of our plans with our campus community, including an opportunity for graduates to receive graduation announcements and to take cap-and-gown photos.

Yet, as much as possible in this age of “sheltering from home,” we hope to honor and celebrate the Class of 2020 in May as well. Every day during the upcoming month, the University will celebrate our graduates on our primary social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Graduates, please review and complete this form to learn more about each day’s featured content and how to participate in these unique social media events.

(Any general Commencement inquiries or questions regarding this social media initiative should be directed to Wilson Phillips in the Office of Student Life.)

As we enter the last weeks of the semester, please know that you all continue to be in our thoughts and prayers every day. Our Founder — St. John Baptist de La Salle — faced many unknowns and overcame countless obstacles to establish schools in 17th century France. It is his resilience and legacy that inspires us to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 together, both now and at a future time that will allow us to gather in shared joy as a Lasallian community.

Together and by Association,

Mr. Jack Shannon
President of the University

Dr. Paul Haught
Vice President for Academics & Student Life