April 8, 2020: Based on the survey responses of the 2020 Graduates about alternatives for the May commencement celebrations, Clarkson students overwhelmingly want the opportunity to participate in an in-person commencement with its related celebration and recognition activities.
The current plan is to hold the date of Saturday, August 15 to replace the May Spring Commencements, and to finalize plans by June 30 based on the status of federal, state and local health directives that may still include guidance on large gatherings and travel. Students will be asked shortly to submit a tentative RSVP for us to begin planning what those scenarios may need to be based on projected attendance.
The August commencement ceremony will include an option to participate virtually for both graduates and family members. Students who are unable to come in August will also have the option to return for ceremonies in December 2020 and May 2021 as well as with the Graduate School Ceremonies for our Capital Region Campus.
For the August Ceremony, we will plan to provide housing for three nights on campus at no charge for students from Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16.
Recognition milestone events like the Last Lectures with Faculty, the Cultural Graduation, ROTC commissioning, Phalanx convocation tapping and other activities planned by class representatives and other student groups will be included in the weekend’s activities. Student representatives and faculty organizers will be included in creating the schedule to be posted soon.
In lieu of the University Recognition Day, originally scheduled for April 18, we will be mailing all students their award certificates later in the semester. Some departments will be hosting smaller online gatherings to personally recognize achievements. This allows students to put these honors on their resumes as they continue to gain interviews for employment, internships and other research experiences. We will also acknowledge graduates who have special honors at the August 15 ceremony.
The Clarkson School’s commencement recognition is also under review for when it will be rescheduled. No decision has been made yet on the Capital Region Campus Commencement in June.
Current federal and state directives have made it no longer possible to hold May commencement celebrations in Potsdam. We truly were buoyed by the number of responses and comments from students impacted by this decision that reflect the Golden Knight spirit and their personal resilience that will serve them well in their personal and professional endeavors.