On Friday, the Class of 2020 learned from an email sent by Tony Sprague, director of events and summer programs, that their on-campus graduation celebration would be moved from the previously announced dates of June 11 and June 12, 2021, to August 13 and August 14, 2021. On March 20, President Clayton Rose postponed the Class of 2020’s commencement exercises that were originally scheduled for May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the email to the Class of 2020, Sprague wrote that the College postponed the celebration to August in the hopes that the number of COVID-19 cases across the country would decrease and that housing and travel restrictions to ease. The College also anticipates that the two-month delay would allow graduates and guests returning to campus to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, which will most likely be available to the general public in the late spring or early summer.
“We realize that adjusting the dates may be one more frustration in an extraordinary year of disruptions, but we believe the additional two months of time next summer will allow for conditions in Maine and elsewhere across the country to improve, for the vaccine to be more widely distributed, and for travel and housing limitations to ease. All of this will make a gathering for your entire class much more feasible, with the added benefit of being able to come together on an August weekend in Maine,” wrote Sprague.
Sprague also wrote that the College would be working with the class of 2021 Class Council to solidify the weekend’s schedule, housing and other information.