May 12 Message to Campus: As We Approach Commencement (includes video)

To Our Faculty, Staff and Students:

At last, the semester is done.  

And normally, Sunday’s Commencement would mark the end of the academic year.

But as you know all too well, nothing is normal right now.

The May 17 ceremonies will be virtual; diplomas and Commencement programs delivered by mail. We have set aside the Sunday of Homecoming week for in-person graduation events, but also appreciate that they are a modest substitute.

We will miss hearing the cheers as we announce conferrals of degrees. We long to see the pride on families’ faces. And we regret that goodbyes among graduates, faculty, friends and staff cannot be said in person. Please share what you can on social media, using the hashtag #CWRUGrad2020, and encourage loved ones to do the same.

I have another, even more important request: Do not allow the difficulties of this semester—including online graduation—to dampen your pride.

Every year we offer congratulations to each student, and express appreciation to all of the people who helped them reach this moment.

To be clear, the sentiments are always deeply felt. But for the Class of 2020, for all that they and their supporters endured, the words take on a whole new meaning.

What you accomplished over the past two months is beyond extraordinary—some might even say beyond the possible. Relocations. Remote work and education. Emergency funds. And lots of time on Zoom, and with families.

No matter what next steps you anticipate after Sunday, we all face enormous uncertainty. But we proceed with invaluable knowledge. Despite all of the difficulties of a semester like no other, you persevered. You supported one another. And you emerged stronger and more capable than anyone might have predicted.

I share more of my thoughts in this video.

With immense gratitude,

Barbara R. Snyder