Anna Bowers · October 5, 2020
On Oct. 3, the Office of the President sent the following letter to the Class of 2020.
Dear Alumni, Family and Friends,
We want to reassure you that we have not forgotten about the Class of 2020. We care about each of you and your tremendous achievement of graduating from Southern Virginia University! We are so proud of you and everything you have achieved despite extraordinary circumstances and unprecedented adversity. You deserve to be celebrated as much as any class in history.
As you know, when the global pandemic first reached our area last spring, we were forced to discontinue in-person classes and postpone your traditional commencement exercises. Based on the best information we had at the time, we were hopeful that we could potentially hold a special graduation celebration for the Class of 2020 during Homecoming Weekend this fall semester.
Unfortunately, due to the persistence of the pandemic and ongoing recommendations from health and government officials to avoid large public gatherings, especially with individuals who have recently traveled, we must again postpone your commencement celebration as well as this year’s homecoming activities until we are confident that it is safe to gather together in-person.
While we are sad and disappointed that we cannot welcome you all back to the Shenandoah Valley this fall, we are confident that these changes are for now, not forever! We look forward to the day when we can re-open campus to visitors from across the country, but until then, limiting travel to and from campus is one of the best ways to safeguard our campus community and to maintain the low rate of infection with which we’ve been extremely blessed this semester.
Again, we have not forgotten you and everything you have accomplished!
It is true that we have had our hands full this semester doing everything in our power to protect our campus community and we are so thankful for the miraculous results we have experienced so far this fall in happy, healthy students with very few confirmed cases of the virus. Despite everything going on, you have all been in our hearts and on our minds.
We held out hope of welcoming you back to campus this fall as long as we reasonably could, but it is very clear that gathering alumni, friends, and family from across the country to our campus would simply be too risky with current circumstances and not in the best interest of you or our current students. We are very sorry to have to postpone your celebration once again.
With potential vaccines on the horizon, we are still hopeful that we can hold a special combined commencement ceremony for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 later this spring or possibly even this summer. But due to the dynamic situation surrounding the pandemic, our ability to host such an event will depend largely on external circumstances. As a result, we will continue to monitor the situation, maintain flexibility, and communicate updates and plans as we are able to make them.
We genuinely look forward to the time when we can host you again on our beautiful campus. Until then, please stay in touch by following our weekly newsletter and social media channels. So far this semester, we have already held a virtual forum and a virtual play and we expect additional opportunities for virtual engagement and participation with our campus activities and community. Please stay tuned for forthcoming announcements, innovations, and updates.
Thank you for your flexibility, patience, and support as we navigate this unique and unprecedented year. With everyone’s help, we will continue to make Southern Virginia University a safe harbor and a shelter from the storm.
Office of the President
Southern Virginia University