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Commencement Twists and Turns

By Daniel Coughlin, Currier Times Correspondent

UPDATE: March 24, 2021:

Curry College sent out a statement to students and families that they are, officially, going to hold the 2020 and 2021 commencement on campus. These will be outdoor events, limited to graduates only, but this could increase to limited guests.

Here is the full statement:

Dear Curry College Community,   

I am writing to share an update with you regarding our Commencement planning for the Class of 2020 and 2021. We are grateful for your continued patience as we plan to celebrate you and your class during this ongoing pandemic.   We’re pleased to share that under existing circumstances and conditions we plan to host an in-person Commencement ceremony on campus on Saturday, May 22 for the members of the Class of 2020, and Sunday, May 23 for the members of the Class of 2021.  

The ceremonies will take place on the Walter M. Katz Field, rain or shine. Under current capacity and social distancing guidelines, we must limit the attendees to graduates only. Please be aware that these plans will be entirely subject to state mandates regarding gatherings and we will be prepared to change plans as restrictions are enforced or lifted.   It is our hope that the rising vaccination rates and additional changes to state guidelines may potentially allow each graduate to bring up to two guests.

We will communicate if guests can be accommodated and all other details for the weekend events by May 3, or sooner if known. Please check our Commencement website for the latest updates and information.   To summarize, this is what we know at this time: Saturday, May 22, will be the in-person Commencement ceremony for the members of the Class of 2020- Graduates only. Sunday, May 23, will be the in-person Commencement ceremony for the members of the Class of 2021- Graduates only.

The ceremonies will take place on the Walter M. Katz Field. The events will take place rain or shine. Time of the events is TBA. Students who plan to participate can purchase their cap and gowns at the bookstore between April 12th and May 7th. Students may also order their regalia.

We will communicate if guests can be accommodated and all other details for the weekend events by May 3, or sooner if known. Please check our Commencement website for the latest updates and information.   Throughout our planning for the ceremonies, the health and safety of our students, their guests, and our campus community will continue to be our top priority. Though it will be different this year, Commencement is a treasured time for all of us at the College, and we look forward to celebrating with you in May.

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COVID-19, as we all know, has changed the world we lived in drastically and quickly. Two classes that know this all too well are the Curry College Class of 2020 and 2021. They lost countless memories and opportunities to the pandemic and felt like they got robbed.

However, the college has announced that they are trying to organize an in-person or hybrid style graduation for both classes.

Photo by Ekrulila on Pexels.com

College administrators are hoping to have an in-person graduation on May 22nd for the Class of 2020, and on May 23rd an in-person commencement for the class of 2021. Nothing has been finalized, and the college said it will be based on Massachusetts Covid-related protocols. If in-person graduation does occur, it will likely have limited capacity.

Jillian Recko, a 2020 graduate with a Communication degree, said she would welcome an official commencement.

“I think it is very exciting that we will have a chance to celebrate, even though it is a year later, with all of our classmates,” said Recko.

Nick Gentili, a 2021 Nursing major, said this would be a hopeful sign.

“After a rough two years of COVID to have an in-person graduation would be very exciting for the class of 2021 to celebrate all our hard work,” said Gentili.

The class of 2021 has had a full year of uncertainty and with the idea of something normal returning is one that they are all excited for. Although the process is long from complete, if the guidelines of the state hold up then there is hope for an in-person graduation, however the number of guests remains unsure, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

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