University to host traditional Commencement ceremony for Classes of 2020, 2022

Jaxon White, News Co-Editor

A traditional graduation ceremony will be held for graduates of the Class of 2020 on May 21, 2022, one day prior to the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2022 on May 22, per an announcement from President John Bravman. Both ceremonies will be held on Malesardi Quadrangle at 10 a.m.

The class of 2020 had their initial commencement ceremony moved to an online version on July 19, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These students already had their final semester cut short in March 2020 as the University moved to remote coursework. 

“Since your virtual Commencement ceremony in July 2020, we have remained committed to celebrating your success together on campus when pandemic conditions allow us to gather safely,” Bravman said to the graduates of 2020 through email. “Responses to the class survey indicated your preference for an in-person event that would honor your entire class as one group.”

The press release, sent by director of Media Relations and Communications Mike Ferlazzo, said that members of the Class of 2020 had a survey sent to them earlier this year where the majority of alumni decided that they would prefer a traditional commencement ceremony. 

Members of the Class of 2020 will also be able to attend special events on May 20 before their ceremony, including a reception, a champagne toast, and the candle lighting ceremony. The University’s three colleges will each hold a reception for members of the Class of 2020 and 2022, following the May 21 commencement.

“I think that it’s great that we are going to have a ceremony,” Mathematical Economics graduate Ninh Lam ’20 said. “I am definitely going to come back and celebrate it with my friends and family and the whole class of 2020!”

“I think that the Class of 2020 has gone through a lot and their college experience was ended in such a horrible way,” Abby Whitaker ’22 said. “They deserve their day to walk the stage and receive their diploma just like the rest of us.”

Still, Whitaker is worried that having both ceremonies so close together could cause some problems on how the ceremonies are run. 

“It is going to be difficult for so many people to be visiting campus at one time. Finding a hotel to stay in is going to be a nightmare for both the families of the Class of ’20 and Class of ’22,” Whitaker said. 

Ferlazzo said that the University has consulted with the Susquehanna Valley Visitors Bureau to confirm the best commencement date. 

“Bureau staff are available to help Bucknell families find lodging and can be reached at 800-525-7320,” Ferlazzo said. “On-campus housing will also be available on Friday night for graduates of the Class of 2020 at no charge.”

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