Dear Members of the Class of 2020,
I know that you have all been looking forward to this year’s graduation ceremony with great anticipation and excitement. You have worked hard to reach this important milestone and want to celebrate. Seeing you walk across that stage is also the highlight of the year for all of us at Northampton Community College. We love seeing your smiles, waves, and selfies as you process to "Pomp and Circumstance," to watch you dance across the stage and beam with pride, and to hear your family members and friends shouting words of elation.
We are not giving that up – not even for COVID-19.
With the increasing number of confirmed cases of the virus regionally, and in other parts of the world, it is clear that commencement cannot be held May 21 as planned. While we do not know exactly how the Coronavirus pandemic will play out, at this time it is safe to say that 3,000 people gathering in the Arthur Scott Gymnasium is not in the best interest of our own community or our shared health.
We also know you did not spend those long hours working in the library, studios, classrooms, and labs to have a "virtual" graduation. It is not the experience your family and friends want either, nor is it what we promised you when you chose NCC. Accordingly, the College has formed the "Graduation 2020" committee comprised of students, faculty, and staff to select a new date for the commencement of our Class of 2020 graduates. Like you, the committee wants this to be a day full of celebration and fun---albeit later than planned. Once a new commencement date is set (by no later than May1), we will provide all of the necessary information and instructions to each of you.
We understand that not having commencement in May is disappointing. Please check your Spartan email regularly for important updates.
When we gather for your special day, we will rock the Spartan Center like never before as we celebrate the academic accomplishments and extraordinary resilience of the great Class of 2020. I can hardly wait!
Warmest regards and be safe,
Dr. Mark H. Erickson