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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Dear Graduating Seniors and Families,

Last month I wrote to you with the disappointing news that we must postpone Commencement in order to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. At CC we’ve been facing so many hard decisions as we respond to this crisis, but that was the hardest.
You all have worked tenaciously for your degrees. You have grown, explored, and learned so much about the world, and yourselves. You have made a positive impact at CC. And as young leaders tested by the hardship of this pandemic and its heartbreaking reverberations around the world, you have responded with courage, creativity, adaptability, and care. 
Over the past few weeks, we surveyed seniors and families to learn what you felt would be a meaningful recognition and celebration for the Class of 2020. We heard back from 304 seniors and 385 family members. There were so many wonderful ideas. The sentiment that was clear came from seniors: The vast majority of you said you want to celebrate when it’s safe, with a traditional on-campus Commencement. You want to walk across the stage in your cap and gown, and soak in that moment of hard-earned achievement. And it is important for you to share that moment — with your classmates and loved ones.
While degrees will be conferred this May for everyone who has completed their requirements, we want to celebrate you in the way you wish, and when it is safe to do so. Therefore, we are rescheduling the Class of 2020 Commencement and related events to be held on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Graduates and their families and friends will be invited back to stay on campus that weekend, reuniting with friends, professors, advisors, and staff while experiencing the traditions that are part of a Colorado College Commencement. We are working on raising funds so that all members of the Class of 2020 can attend, regardless of their financial circumstances.
We also want to recognize you this year, but a little later than originally planned. Because we adjusted our academic calendar, adding a weeklong block break after Block 7 and extending Block 8 by several days, we must also shift the date when we can note — at a distance — your achievements. This gives the faculty time to submit grades and designate honors, and then we can print your diplomas. Watch your email on Sunday, May 31, for good wishes from CC and keep an eye out for a special box from CC with your diploma, a cap, tassel, and more, so you can celebrate with your families. Visit the Commencement webpage for information on ordering graduation announcements and using our Commencement hashtags for social media. 
I am so sad that I can’t celebrate with you in person this May. But I am heartened by the strength, resiliency, and perseverance you all are showing as we adjust to new ways of teaching, learning, working, and living at this time when we must keep our families and communities safe.
In this last block of your academic studies at Colorado College, I hope you apply yourselves, explore, and find your joy in learning, as you did so many times throughout your time at CC. Stay focused on your life goals, and keep supporting one another. Connect with your friends, professors, and staff — and stay connected to CC! We are proud of you, and can’t wait to celebrate you.

Jill Tiefenthaler


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