2020, 2021 Commencement update

By Rayana Petrone – 1851 Contributor

From L-R, class of 2020 graduates Rachel Stankus, Alexa Madeiros, Avery Stankus, Allison Garriepy, and Katie Jones atop a Lasell University sign. Photo taken on March 28, 2020.
Photo courtesy of Avery Stankus

As the 2020-2021 school year is coming to a close, the question of whether or not Lasell would host in-person Commencement for its 2020 and 2021 graduates was up in the air until a recent email was released by President Michael Alexander, confirming in-person ceremonies. 

“… We plan to move forward with in-person, on-campus graduation ceremonies Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15 on Taylor Field right here on the Lasell University campus,” said President Alexander in the email.

This news came as a surprise to many as the last update on the status of Commencement came in a different email on February 24. In this email, graduates were told they would be receiving a survey asking for their top priorities in a commencement ceremony.

Throughout the past month, some students have felt uninformed with the status of Commencement. “We have been waiting a year now, and the longer I get separated from Lasell, I feel like the less and less Commencement is going to mean,” said Matt Berentsen (‘20).

Once the university received the survey results, it released a tentative Commencement plan including dates. “Graduate [students] from both the Classes of 2020 and 2021 will receive their degrees… Friday, May 14” and “Undergraduate students from the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 will receive their degrees at separate ceremonies on Saturday, May 15,” according to Alexander.

Lasell’s Commencement website states, “Each graduating student will be allowed two guests… this is a firm policy that will be upheld…”

Regardless of the restrictions placed on the ceremonies, many students are glad there is now a plan in the making. “I was absolutely shocked, after the last update, this was not what I was expecting to hear,” said senior Kyra Walsh. 

“I’m so appreciative that students have been heard. I know this has been something that’s weighed a lot on people so I know it feels like a sense of relief for many. It feels like we’re getting the closure we needed as seniors graduating mid-pandemic,” said Avery Stankus (‘20).

While only being able to bring two guests to the ceremonies is unfortunate for some, many graduates are appreciative that they are being recognized for their accomplishments, and the university is pleased to put on a modified ceremony for students and their guests. 

“At these ceremonies, we will honor longtime Lasell commencement traditions, which include each graduate walking across the stage,” said Alexander.

At this time, the ceremonies are scheduled based on current COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines. Graduating students and their guests are highly encouraged to continue to check Lasell’s Commencement website as things are subject to change due to the pandemic. 

More information will be released on the website including registration details and the updated Commencement information.

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