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March 23, 2020: Commencement & First Day of Remote Learning, Teaching

Communication from President Allison Garrett

March 23, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Today, many of you jumped back into classes through your computers rather than heading to on-campus classrooms. Some of you may have felt a sense of adventure. Others may have felt stress.

Please know that you are not alone. All across Hornet Nation, we are using technology to meet in virtual spaces and reach out to friends and family to ease the distance while we follow public health mandates to stay safe by staying apart.

As you know, the situation around COVID-19 is continually changing. In the midst of this uncertainty, I wanted to share with you one certainty — we will invite May 2020 graduates back to Emporia during the December 2020 commencement activities on December 11 and 12, 2020.

I met recently via Zoom with ASG leadership and others on campus who recognized how important it is to celebrate you and your accomplishments. Although we’ve made plans for December, we won’t wait until then. We have some fun ideas for May 8 and 9 — when Spring 2020 commencements would have taken place. Although we can’t be all together laughing and enjoying hugs on those days, we will use social media to honor our graduates.

Please know that commencement ceremonies and actually graduating are two separate pieces of earning your degree. Students graduate and receive their degrees at the end of the term when they satisfy all academic requirements. Commencement is an event that celebrates students’ graduation, and it can happen at a later time if necessary.  Students who meet all academic requirements this semester will graduate with their degrees in May, even if their commencement ceremony happens in December.

That means that the remaining weeks of the Spring 2020 continue to be important for you to achieve your dream of earning an undergraduate or graduate degree.

We do not know what tomorrow will bring with the pandemic and what new plans Emporia State will need to put in place. Yet, we will respond with the actions that are in the best interest of our community.

As we continue through the Spring 2020 semester, we will close the academic year with new personal strengths and skills. Thanks to each of you for your hard work in the transition to remote teaching and learning. Emporia State is with you always; we are in this together.

With Hornet Pride,
Allison D. Garrett