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Important Commencement News for the Class of 2020

Note: This is dated information and may not reflect the current policies in place on campus. Please refer to We Are WPI for the latest information.

March 4, 2021

The message below was sent to the WPI Class of 2020

Dear WPI Class of 2020,

The global spread of COVID-19 last Spring may have delayed our in-person commencement ceremony, but it has not dampened our enthusiasm and excitement to celebrate all you have achieved. The Class of 2020 will go down in history as one that pivoted quickly when the pandemic hit in full force and finished your final term/semester strong despite all of the sudden changes.

In September, we shared that our hope was to hold an in-person ceremony in May. However, the national and regional trajectory of COVID-19 infections since the fall has meant more impacts for our campus. In fact, because of calendar changes caused by the pandemic, classes will be in session until mid-May.

But as you would expect of us, we have a plan! I am truly delighted to ask you to save the dates of August 6-8, 2021 for a series of Commencement celebration events designed to honor your achievements in a meaningful, yet safety-minded way.

Like all universities, WPI must follow state guidelines regarding events. Because a full-scale Commencement is likely to be impossible due to ongoing restrictions, we are actively planning smaller in-person events over the course of the weekend. We will also have virtual options for those who cannot make it back to the Hill in person and for members of your families who are not able to join us.

The health and safety of our campus community, including all of our WPI families, continue to be our top priority. As always, our decisions will be guided by science. While we are planning for your big day, our Commencement Committee will continue working with the university’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Team to monitor public health trends, vaccination rates, and of course our own campus COVID-19 testing data, as we finalize the details for our events.

Recognizing that you are eager to make plans with friends and families to celebrate your achievement, we are working hard to cement our plans, and will be back in touch shortly with more information. Details as they emerge will also be found on our Commencement website regarding:

  • Daily Commencement schedules
  • Event capacity (including our plan for a limited number of guests to be in the audience)
  • Ceremony format

NOTE:  Please do not make any travel arrangements yet; details are subject to change, dependent on the state guidelines in place this summer.

We look forward to connecting again as soon as we have more information to share on precisely how we will celebrate the great class of 2020! Looking forward to seeing many of you on Earle Bridge!