President announces plans for postponed commencement

Email from President Suzanne K. Mellon to Faculty, Staff and Students
Distributed to Faculty & Staff: 04/16/2020
Distributed to Students: 04/16/2020
Posted: 04/16/2020

Dear Carlow University Faculty and Staff (and Students),

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Carlow University is postponing its May 2020 Commencement ceremonies in recognition of Governor Wolf’s stay-at-home order and the importance of social distancing during this unprecedented time. I recognize that this is a major disappointment for all of us, and particularly for our graduates, who have worked very hard to achieve this milestone and significant achievement in their lives.

A few weeks ago, I asked our Provost to identify a small group of internal stakeholders who could assess the needs and desires of our students and then make recommendations on the ways in which we could celebrate commencement. This Commencement Planning Task Force, overseen by the Provost and comprised of faculty, staff and students, assessed our options and recommended that we reschedule Commencement. I agreed, and having approved this recommendation, I am announcing that the Commencement Ceremony will take place on Sunday, December 20, 2020, at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall at 12:00 Noon. Graduates from May, August, and December will be recognized in this ceremony. The Baccalaureate Mass will take place on Saturday, December 19, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Additionally, it is very important that we also mark and honor the occasion for students who will complete their degrees in May. Working in tandem with members of the Commencement Planning Task Force, the Marketing and Communications Department will be producing a virtual acknowledgement of this special occasion, utilizing video, social media, and the university website during the month of May. Details will unfold over the coming weeks. We will celebrate the May graduates while building momentum for the December ceremony.

At Carlow, it is our community and our values that make us who we are. We rely on and support each other, and we are not deterred by disappointments. We will use the goodwill and compassion of our community to recharge and move forward. At no time has this been so evident as in the past several weeks. Our focus has remained fixed on our students, their persistence, and the ultimate completion of their programs. I look forward to the joy of together celebrating their accomplishments through our virtual recognitions in May and commencement ceremonies in December.


Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD
Carlow University