Providence College: In-person Class of 2020 commencement ceremony ‘not possible’

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PROVIDENCE — In a letter to members of the Class of 2020, issued on Monday, July 27, Providence College shared that the school determined that it will not be possible to hold an in-person Class of 2020 commencement ceremony, as they had hoped, on October 31. 

The letter recognized the disappointment this decision brings, but hopes that the students and families understand that it is prudent. 

The size of indoor gatherings in Rhode Island is currently limited to 125 people, and it is not possible to predict when that limit might be raised, the letter explained. The state also currently requires visitors from states with positive COVID-19 test rates higher than 5% to self-quarantine for 14 days, another factor that PC believes makes continued planning for a large, in-person event, with hundreds of visitors from near and far, impractical for the foreseeable future.

“The College remains committed to celebrating the Class of 2020 and its achievements, but it is clear that it will not be possible until sometime in 2021. Our inability to safely gather as one community makes the beautiful celebration we all want for the Class of 2020 impossible for now, but it will happen when it is safe — and it will be unforgettable.”

Because of variables that remain outside their control, PC cannot currently provide a new date, but promises to share that information in plenty of time for families to make plans. Updates will be posted at https://commencement.providence.edu/ when the school is able to execute a safe plan. 

“We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of the Friar family — guided by the advice of federal, state, and municipal authorities —  as we make decisions about these and other events,” the letter stated.