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Update on Commencement for Class of 2020 Graduates and Families

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 31, 2020

Dear May of 2020 Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral Candidates:

We write to you at a time of unprecedented challenge for each and every person in the WPI community, as we work together to manage the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our campus and our world.  Thank you for your flexibility, ingenuity, and creativity in adapting to the changes taking place all around you.

As you settle into this most unexpected D-Term or Spring Semester, many of you have been thinking ahead to Commencement. We have been considering options for this most important event over the many weeks since the university began to respond to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the pandemic still active and unpredictable, we have made the responsible but very difficult decision to postpone Commencement to a future date still to be determined. Please know that we will hold an in-person commencement ceremony for the great Class of 2020 at some point in the future, when it is safe to do so.

While we won’t be able to come together in person for a May celebration, it is important for you to know that the degrees you earn will be awarded in May, at which time you will be a WPI graduate. Your diploma will be mailed to you and will be certified on your transcript. Additional details will be forthcoming from the Registrar’s Office in the weeks to follow.

We expect that, like us, you are disappointed but not surprised that we have decided to postpone our May Commencement ceremonies.  As we make plans for our reimagined Commencement 2020—​your Commencement—we’d like to solicit your input. We invite you to click on this link to share your ideas for a unique and meaningful celebration. The survey will be open until 5 pm on April 15. We will gather ideas and begin to plan, with your help, what we’re confident will be a Commencement to remember.

Each year, we look forward to the opportunity to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of our graduating students at our Commencement ceremonies. For all of us at WPI, it’s been a privilege to be a part of your remarkable journeys and to witness your amazing accomplishments and transformations as you become the leaders of tomorrow. You have had an everlasting impact not only on the WPI community, but on communities locally and around the globe, and you are an inspiration to us all.

Thank you for your flexibility, openness, and resiliency as we continue to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of our world.

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones, and stay safe.

Laurie Leshin, President
Katherine Handy ’20, Chair of Senior Class Board
Lening Li ’21 (PhD), Graduate Student Government President