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In view of coronavirus contagion Williams College postpones 2020 graduation ceremonies

“I have decided, reluctantly and with significant disappointment, that the college cannot safely hold a traditional in-person Williams commencement or reunion in June.” Williams College President Maud Mandel

Williamstown – In a letter to the students, alumni and staff, Williams College President Maud Mandel announced that in view of the coronavirus contagion, the college has postponed its commencement and reunion ceremonies that were to be held in June.

Williams College President Maud Mandel

“Over the last few weeks,” she wrote, “Williams has been assessing the question of whether or not to hold commencement and reunion, in light of the pandemic’s progress and impact. I have decided, reluctantly and with significant disappointment, that the college cannot safely hold a traditional in-person Williams commencement or reunion in June.”

But she predicted that a different kind of graduation ceremony could be created.

“Seniors, while I am heartbroken that graduation cannot happen in the conventional way at the conventional time, I am determined that you will have your moment. Rather than deciding for you what that should look like, my colleagues and I want to start by asking you. Following this message, you will receive an email from College Marshal and J. Hodge Markgraf Professor of Chemistry Jay Thoman ’82, with a questionnaire you can use to share your ideas. Your responses will help inform our thinking about the options.

“While the result almost certainly will not look exactly like a traditional graduation, Professor Thoman and all of us are determined to create something memorable and meaningful.

“You have no idea how much I wish we could come together in the customary ways, to celebrate as a community. But I am confident that we can work together creatively to make the most of even this unprecedented challenge.”

Click here to read Mandel’s letter in its entirety.

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