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Emory cancels traditional Commencement activities

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The following message was sent to All Emory University students, faculty and staff on March 18.


Dear members of the Emory community,

Commencement is a beloved tradition in our academic community and a singularly important moment for our graduating students and their families. It is with great sadness that I write to let you know we have made the difficult, but absolutely necessary decision, to cancel our traditional May commencement activities. However, I also want to share with you that planning already is underway to celebrate and commemorate the Class of 2020 as we are living in an extraordinary time. 

We did not make this decision lightly. I recognize that it will cause disappointment, especially for our graduates and their loved ones. But cancellation of the on-campus activities is, at present, the one option that ensures the safety and well-being of our Emory community members. We must be proactive in our mitigation efforts against COVID-19. Nevertheless, I apologize that we will not have our regular graduation celebrations, and wanted to let you know as soon as possible to help you with your plans.

Thankfully, cancellation will not be the last word. Together, we will recognize all that you have accomplished and celebrate your creativity, resilience, and resolve. I wish you great success as you move forward into the next phase of your lives.  

I appreciate your patience and continued understanding as we navigate these challenges. Most of all, I encourage each member of the Emory community to continue to care for yourselves and your families during these very stressful times. We will remain guided by our mission of putting knowledge to work in the service of all humanity. The present times call for compassion and for courage.


With gratitude,

Claire E. Sterk


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