Boston University Commencement 2020

Dear Members of the Boston University Class of 2020 and Families,

I know all of you–our graduating seniors and those who will graduate from our master’s and doctoral programs as well as your families–are wondering how we will celebrate your academic achievements. What will happen to our May 15–17 Commencement?

It has become increasingly clear that it would be imprudent to host a large gathering, such as Commencement, only seven weeks from now; hence, I am writing you to let you know we are postponing our Commencement exercises until either late August or early fall. I promise to write you by May 1 with our plans. I made the postponement decision with a heavy heart, but I am also mindful of the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and our public safety obligations. Regrettably, it is impossible to be definitive about a date until the epidemic subsides and we feel it will be safe to hold the exercises.

I have heard from many in our community who have told me that a virtual, online ceremony that could be organized in May is not seen as a fitting substitute for the in-person event that is shared with colleagues, family, and friends. I understand and appreciate this sentiment. We will do everything possible to create an in-person, on-campus event for our 2020 graduates.

We also realize that our decision to postpone the event will make it impossible for some graduates and your families to attend on the new date. This is an inevitable consequence of the impact of COVID-19. Individual schools and colleges may plan virtual events in May to celebrate your accomplishments, especially for those of you graduating from professional graduate programs for whom returning to campus later this year may be impossible.

We are planning to mail diplomas to all graduates as soon as practical, because we know that many of you will need these documents to secure licenses and employment. We will share further details about this process as soon as they are available.

We will be back in touch with additional information as soon as possible. The faculty and staff of Boston University and I look forward to celebrating your graduation. I wish you all the best for a successful completion of the semester, and I appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate these very uncertain times.


Robert A. Brown signature
Robert A. Brown