Dear Santa Clara University Community,
As we continue to shelter in place in California, we hope that you and your family are well. While our Bronco community is scattered around the country and world -- teaching, learning, and working remotely -- you are close to our hearts. As we find different ways to connect with one another, the bonds across even long distances remain deep among the Santa Clara family.
Given the ongoing health crisis in our area, and the likelihood that large gatherings will continue to be prohibited in the near future, we have decided to postpone the Commencement exercises across our schools. We appreciate how painful this decision is for our graduates and their families, and the faculty and staff who look forward to this celebration every year. We are very sorry.
As other universities around the country have made similar decisions, we have heard two consistent pleas coming from this year’s graduating students: don’t cancel, just postpone. And please, no virtual graduation ceremony.
After listening to feedback from our community, particularly our graduating students, here is how we will move forward. We will postpone Commencement until a time when large gatherings will be permitted by local and state health officials. At this point, we do not know when that will be. We and the deans of our six schools will work with graduating students to think through the options for such a celebration and will communicate updates as the planning for rescheduled ceremonies advances.
Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees will be awarded at the normal time, and final transcripts will reflect the students’ degrees and their conferral date. Upon completion of degree requirements, students will technically graduate, though we will not mark the occasion with a ceremony until a later date.
The decision reflects our ongoing commitment as citizens to care for the health of our community by joining the civic effort to stem the pandemic. In the language of our Jesuit tradition, this decision, as well as our move to remote learning, are concrete expressions of solidarity with all people, particularly with those most vulnerable to the virus. However right this decision is, we recognize that it still hurts on many levels, including personally. We will miss celebrating with all our graduates and their families -- these occasions are some of the highlights of our work in higher education.
On behalf of our devoted faculty and staff, we close by saying that we are so proud of our graduating students. As our nation and world face unprecedented challenges, this generation will be known for their generous spirit, adaptability, creativity, resilience, and care for the common good. We look forward to the day when we can celebrate all that you have accomplished at Santa Clara at this important moment in our 169-year history.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Kevin F. O'Brien, S.J.