Message to Seniors (April 9, 2020)

To our May 2020 graduates,

I hope you are all well and safe, and that your remote courses are going well.

One of the disheartening aspects of this public health crisis is that you are not able to spend your last weeks on campus together, helping one another celebrate your years here, reliving your memories, acknowledging your many individual and collective accomplishments, enjoying Maine, having fun together, and taking part in Baccalaureate and Commencement in the presence of your friends and family. I am very sorry that this is so.

While nothing can replace this time, as I said in my message to you on March 20, we will have opportunities to celebrate. I am writing today to provide you with information on what we will be doing, both virtually in a few weeks and then back on campus when we can safely get everyone together here.

While we cannot hold our Commencement ceremony on campus as planned, we will all gather virtually on Saturday, May 23, 2020, to mark the well-earned milestone of your graduation from Bowdoin College. With the help of the Senior Class Council, we are working on the program for this event, and we will be back in touch before long with the details.

We will also have everyone back on campus so you can celebrate with one another, including taking the journey across the steps of the Walker Art Building, as so many Bowdoin graduates who came before you have done. Given the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, our plan is to hold an on-campus ceremony and related celebrations in May 2021. The planning for this will be done in concert with members of your class, and with everyone having a chance to provide suggestions to help craft what this will include.

Finally, we had hoped that your diplomas would be delivered to you right after May 23, but we now know that it will take a little longer to get them to you. We learned this week that the company that produces your diplomas (along with those for many other schools) is operating with limited staff during the health crisis, and this has impacted their ability to produce and deliver them. They will be dated May 23, 2020, and will likely be delivered to you by mid-June.

I look forward to celebrating with you in May and again when we are all together on the Quad.

Stay safe and keep taking care of one another.

All the best,


Clayton