Commencement Plans for May 2020 Graduates and Graduates from September 2019 – January 2021

February 25, 2021

Dear Friends,

When I first wrote to you with the disappointing news that we needed to cancel the May 2020 Commencement ceremony at Nickerson Field, we were just learning of the scale and ferocity of the COVID-19 pandemic. None of the early projections about the likely course of the disease proved reliable, and it not only lingered but, sometimes, seemed like a runaway train. It has been frustrating that there have been so many surprises and disruptions associated with COVID-19, but from the moment we made the difficult decision to postpone the May Commencement events, we have been mindful of the importance of holding a special ceremony for your class.

We are now ready to share with you that we are planning to hold a dedicated Commencement ceremony during Alumni Weekend (September 29 through October 3) for all those who completed degrees from September 2019 through January 2021. The ceremony will take place at Nickerson Field on Saturday, October 2, at 6 pm. We plan to confer honorary degrees upon the distinguished individuals we invited for the May 2020 ceremony. We will conduct the ceremony while observing the most current Back2BU public health protocols, which we anticipate may be less stringent by October. We do not expect to be back to full-scale in-person operations in October, but we can, we believe, offer a meaningful event for you while adhering to required protocols. At this time, we do not anticipate being able to offer the opportunity for you to invite family and friends to attend in person, but we do expect to provide enhanced virtual access to the program so this milestone in your life can be shared and enjoyed. We hope that, by commemorating your accomplishments on this special weekend, we highlight your class as being one of great resilience and unique standing in the history of Boston University and that you will enjoy a weekend of programs specific to the Class of 2020.

We will be providing additional details in BU Today as we move forward. I will offer the cautionary note that our planning is contingent on both the progress made in fighting COVID-19 and decisions made by city or state officials about public gatherings. We are moving forward in a spirit of optimism, but ready to adjust as needed.

I hope you will mark your calendars and begin planning to join us in October. We are both eager and determined to offer an appropriate celebration of all that you accomplished during your time here.

With best wishes,

Robert A. Brown signature
Robert A. Brown