A Letter From President Clarence R. Wyatt
Lobie and I, and all of us on campus, have had you in our minds and hearts these last few days. Among the many inconveniences and injustices that COVID-19 has caused, stealing your senior-year spring is among the saddest. We miss all of our students, but most especially miss celebrating this spring with you.
We know that you understand that we have been trying to anticipate and prepare for the many disruptions that the COVID-19 crisis has brought to us, and we greatly appreciate that understanding. Among the many things on your minds, and on ours, is Commencement. On Tuesday, March 17, the Centers for Disease Control issued a directive against any gatherings of 50 or more for eight weeks. That directive was later amended to gatherings of 10 or more. We are committed to holding in person, on campus Commencement ceremony at some point this year — but given the directives currently in place and the fluidity of the situation, that ceremony will not take place on May 17. We struggled mightily to find some way that Commencement could proceed as scheduled, but events and concern for everyone’s wellbeing makes that impossible.
We have already begun to discuss possible alternatives, and Associated Students of Monmouth College leadership is soliciting ideas from your class. We are also discussing creating a virtual commemoration to occur at noon on May 17, and we will certainly keep you informed at every step.
We all know how tremendously disappointing this is for all of you and for your families. Commencement Day is the highlight of the year for Lobie and me, as it is for all of the faculty and staff. It is the prize that you seek, and it is our joy to be a part of your quest. Nothing — nothing — can diminish your achievement, or our pride in you. In the years to come, the disappointment will fade and the pride will only grow. We will all move through this period together, as Proud, Noble, Fighting Scots!
With gratitude and affection from the faculty and staff, Lobie, and me,