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Class of 2020 Commencement Update

By now, many of you are aware of New England College’s recent announcement that the 2020-2021 academic year will start in-person this autumn. The fall semester will begin on August 24th, and end on November 22nd, which coincides with the start of Thanksgiving break. Students will subsequently remain home until the beginning of the second semester, on February 1, 2021. While we are excited about having our students back for the fall semester, the health and safety measures we have implemented in response to the ongoing COVID pandemic mean changes to the College’s programming and campus activities.

I am sorry to announce that the rescheduled Commencement 2020 exercises in Henniker on Sunday, October 4, 2020 have been cancelled. Despite the progress that has been made in flattening the COVID-19 transmission curve in New Hampshire, the Governor and CDC continue to restrict the number of individuals who may gather in a single location. What’s more, the numbers in other states, where many of our students and their families call home, are not reflecting the same decrease of cases and hospitalizations as in New Hampshire. There are other factors as well, which all taken together, have led me to the conclusion that we cannot safely organize a celebration of our graduates.

I know this is very disappointing news to many. I, too, am disappointed. One of the highlights of serving as the President of New England College is the honor of shaking the hand of each and every graduate that crosses our stage; however, I believe this decision protects the safety of our community members, our 2020 graduates, and the many family members who would have attended.

It is my hope that all of the graduates of the Class of 2020 will join us on May 8, 2021 when we will celebrate your achievements and those of the Class of 2021. More details about next year’s Commencement will follow. I do hope you will consider joining us and accept our invitation to cross the graduation stage.

In the interim, for our students at the Institute of Art and Design, I have directed the Academic Affairs team to begin planning for a Senior Exhibition in Manchester of the work of both the Classes of 2020 and 2021. This event will be held in the Spring of 2021. Details about what will surely be an exciting exhibition will be announced in the near future.

We greatly appreciate the continued understanding and patience of all community members and especially the graduating class of 2020. I look forward to the day when we are able to gather again.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Michele Perkins, President