On April 27, the Office of Campus Events sent an email to members of the class of 2020 announcing that their Commencement will be held on May 22, 2022. The ceremony will take place on campus just one day after the class of 2022 is scheduled to graduate.
Initially, in February, the College had announced that it would be cancelling in-person graduation plans for the class of 2020 in favor of a reunion in 2025.
Soon after the announcement, members of the class of 2020 formulated and signed a petition that was sent to the College’s senior staff, urging them to reconsider the plans to scrap an in-person graduation ceremony and proposing that the College hold an in-person graduation in the summer of 2022.
“We appreciated the tentative [reunion] offered by Kenyon College to acknowledge our hard work over the past four years and were excited by the promise of a graduation at some point in the future,” members of the class of 2020 wrote in the petition. “[We are] writing to you today to urge you to reconsider this proposal; a five year reunion is no substitution for a graduation. The Kenyon College Class of 2020 deserves a happier ending to our college career.”
In April, the College then sent an email asking members of the class of 2020 to fill out a survey that listed several dates — when classes would not be in session — for a possible in-person ceremony. Among the options proposed were dates at the end of the summer of 2021, before the start of the new academic year, as well as a date during spring break in March of 2021. The results of the survey were released to the class of 2020 in a save-the-date email.
Becca Foley ’20 was pleased with the College’s decision to reschedule a Commencement ceremony. She acknowledged that the pandemic had caused plans to change and expressed relief that she would be able to return to Gambier sooner than 2025.
“The main thing I wanted was to get back to campus,” Foley said.
She also noted that the news of an official date gave her a sense of closure.
“I think it brings a sense of relief and gratitude to us to have a set date where we can return to the Hill,” she said. “It feels really good to know we won’t have to wait five more years to return to the place we left so abruptly.”
Becca Foley’20 is a former editor-in-chief for the Collegian.