College Delays Commencement Amid COVID-19 ConcernsApril 6, 2020
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine Young announced Monday that the College’s much-anticipated 70th Commencement ceremony, planned for May 21, will be delayed in response to existing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ceremony was scheduled for 5 p.m., Thursday, May 21 on the Alumni Green of the College’s Middletown campus. The College is looking at a suitable way to virtually recognize the Class of 2020 in late May, while investigating the potential timing of an in-person Commencement ceremony later in the year. Additional details will be shared as they are finalized.
“I treasure our end-of-year recognition events because they celebrate your accomplishments,” Young told students via email on Monday. “At Commencement, I watch with pride as you walk across the stage, have your name announced and accept the much-deserved cheers and applause that you have earned. I know that day is also treasured by your families and loved ones, as well as our Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, administrators, and everyone else who plays a role, large or small, in supporting your degree completion.
“For those reasons, and others, I truly wish that we could celebrate in our customary way, at our customary time. But, clearly our priority now is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and preserve our own health, as well as the health of our College community, our friends and our neighbors. We are all in this together.”
Students who completed their academic requirements last August or December are eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony. They have already received their degrees or certificates in the mail. May graduates will still be listed as 2020 graduates and will receive their degrees in the mail later in the summer, independent of the timing of any rescheduled in-person celebration.