October commencement has been canceled

Posted: September 1, 2020

Dear Class of 2020 Graduates,

It pains me to give in on this after months of planning and re-planning and getting all of our hopes up but there will be no in-person Oct. 4, 2020 commencement after all.

We are canceling this important event out of an abundance of caution for your health and to limit the risk to those currently on campus. We worked hard to have face-to-face classes this fall, and our students have been doing a tremendous job abiding by tight standards for behavior and limited social gatherings and their own travel. We do not want to risk upending those efforts by bringing several hundred of even our favorite visitors to campus from far away places.

We also don’t want you to risk your health traveling here and back again.

We know how disappointed you and your families will be in receiving this news . We are incredibly disappointed for you and for all of us who have looked forward to making this a special moment in our Gannon families’ lives.

In April, we postponed the in-person May Commencement Ceremony to ensure the well-being of all as COVID-19 was spreading across the country. The event was rescheduled for October, during Homecoming Weekend, with the hope that we would be able to celebrate together in person. Given the state of the pandemic, along with state and local guidelines, we must transition this event from an in-person experience to a virtual celebration.

We will share details in the coming weeks but would greatly appreciate your help and participation in making this once in a century celebration a lasting tribute to your time here as students. Please send us a short video message we can chronicle in the event and share with the rest of the Gannon community on October 4. (Instructions for how to do that are below.)

We know this – along with the Degree Conferral celebration in May -- is a small consolation after the great achievement of earning a degree.

Please know that we are tremendously proud of you. That will never change.

We were looking forward to you coming home, but in the time of COVID-19 it looks like we have to wait a while longer.

Until then, stay safe.

In peace,
Keith Taylor

How to share a message during the virtual celebration

We invite the Class of 2020 to record a short video to give a shout-out to your fellow graduates, to share a memory, to say thank you to family and friends, or to share updates on the careers you’ve started since earning your degree. Your message will become part of a virtual event on Oct. 4. 

To participate, follow the steps below and submit your video by Friday, Sept. 18.

What Do I Say?

  1. Tell us your name and major or degree that you earned, along with any additional Gannon affiliation you’d like to mention. (i.e., athletic team, fraternity, sorority or organization)
  2. Share an update on a career that you’ve started since earning your degree, give a shout-out to a fellow graduate, or say thank you to family and friends.

Please keep your message short, preferably less than 30 seconds.
Please keep your message positive and appropriate to share in this public celebration for all graduates.

Video Recording Tips

Submit Video Here

By sharing your message with us using this DropBox link, you agree to our fair use of the message and your likeness in all media and social platforms.