Message to Faculty and Staff—Class of 2020 Celebration (May 14, 2020)

Dear faculty and staff,


I write to invite all of you to participate in the celebratory moment that marks the graduation of this year’s class.

It will take place on Saturday, May 23—the day we would have celebrated Commencement. While this will not be the Commencement on the Quad we all wished for, it will be a memorable and historic event, and we will gather virtually to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2020 with pride and to welcome them as alumni of the College. 

The program, which was put together with ideas and preferences submitted by the class and with input from the Senior Class Council, will be streamed live at both and on Bowdoin’s Facebook page. A recording will also be posted on the College website later in the day.


The event will start at 12:45 p.m. EDT with a slideshow of student photos, and the official program will begin at 1:00 p.m. and will feature the following elements:

  • Thorndike Oak Toast
  • Welcome (President Rose)
  • Invocation (Eduardo Pazos Palma, director of the Rachel Lord Center for Religious and Spiritual Life)
  • Remarks (President Rose)
  • A Message to Graduates and Their Families (Angel Ramirez ’20, senior class president)
  • A Selection of Congratulatory Videos from Faculty and Staff
  • Conferring of Baccalaureate Degrees (President Rose and Robert F. White, chair of the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees)
  • “Raise Songs to Bowdoin” (George Lopez, Robert Beckwith Artist-in-Residence, piano) accompanied by a rolling list of graduates, followed by a closing slideshow

Please visit our Class of 2020 Celebration pages for the virtual schedule, Zoom backgrounds, downloadable signs, and materials for social sharing, so that we can all celebrate together.


We expect the official portion of the program to be about thirty minutes long. I hope you will be able to join us to celebrate this moment with our newest graduates and to toast their success in these very difficult times.