“Artists are magicians: you can see what others can not, have a secret language, the power to make others follow . . . and you can change history with one ludicrous idea.” — John Waters
When coronavirus hit NYC in early March, the College was tasked with the monumental challenge of moving quickly to full online instruction. With a combination of intrepid faculty members, a determined student body and an administrative staff working on overdrive, we were able to overcome immense obstacles and finish the semester.
Holding Commencement posed a different set of challenges. Not only did the College have to abandon plans that were already well underway; we had to engineer entirely new ones. From the beginning, the goal was to create the best possible ceremony that we could, under the circumstances.
In late March, President Rhodes surveyed all graduating students on whether to have an online ceremony or in-person event at a later date. While the vote was overwhelmingly for a postponed in-person event, the College decided to offer both. Regalia was mailed to students all over the world to ensure they would have their garments by the time the processional song “Pomp and Circumstance” began sounding its opening notes. And after Commencement, the College will ship diplomas, yearbooks, t-shirts and other goodies to graduates wherever they happen to be riding out quarantine.
The stars of Commencement are, of course, you, the students. Much consideration was given to how we would solve the problem of visually representing the class of 2020 in an online environment. We decided early on that each of the College’s 31 departments would be represented by a slideshow of its students, with professional images provided from Yearbook and Commencement photo shoots done earlier in the school year. It took a small team to organize the photos by individual and department and when we were done, we found that we had portraits for about two-thirds of the graduating class. Not having 100% representation is disappointing, but we can assure you the College put forth a maximum effort and did its best with the resources it had, obstacles it had to overcome and the deadlines it needed to meet. We hope you will be pleased with the outcome.
It is with warm hearts and thoughts of a brighter future in which we can be together, in-person, that we are very much looking forward to seeing you at Radio City Music Hall in 2021. Until then, please accept our deepest and heartfelt congratulations for a job well done.
— The Commencement Committee of 2020
1) If I have a question regarding my diploma; whom should I contact?
You must contact the Office of Academic Advisement at 212.592.2540.
2) Whom may I contact for additional Commencement information?
Continue to review this Commencement section of the website thoroughly.
If you are still having trouble locating the information you need, please call the Office of Academic Advisement at 212.592.2540.
1) Who is eligible to participate in the ceremony?
Master and Bachelor candidates.
2) If I am not eligible, but still want to participate in the ceremony, what do I do?
You must put your request in writing before April 8 to: A. Lucky Checkley, Jr., Director of Academic Advisement at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your request will be reviewed in-committee. You will be informed of the decision within two weeks of your request.
3) What clearances do I have to obtain in order to graduate?
Complete an online degree application, meet with your Academic Advisor, Student Advisor, Assistant to the Chair, or Director of Operations before January 16, 2021.
- Submit documentation of Portfolio/Thesis for SVA archives to the department chair before April 29, 2021.
- Pay all financial obligations owed to the College by April 29, 2021.
- If you have received any type of guaranteed student loan through the school, you need an exit interview clearance from the Office of Financial Aid.
- Return all books to the library by May 4, 2021.
- Complete all credits and required courses by May 4, 2021.
4) Who do I contact if I have doubts regarding my academic standing?
Master candidates should contact their student advisor, or assistant to the chair. Bachelor candidates should contact their academic advisor.
Must meet with their Academic Advisor to ensure that their credits and departmental requirements are in order for graduation.
Must meet with their Student Advisor, Assistant to the Chair or Director of Operations to ensure that their credits and departmental requirements are in order for graduation.