Nichols College Postpones May Commencement Exercises
DUDLEY, Mass. – Nichols College has announced it will postpone its annual Commencement exercises on May 2, in accordance with government mandates aimed at containing the transmission of COVID-19.
Nichols President Susan West Engelkemeyer, Ph.D., informed the graduating class in a March 17 email, saying, “Per CDC and state guidelines, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that our May 2, 2020 Commencement Ceremony is postponed.” This week, Governor Charlie Baker announced a prohibition on gatherings of 25 or more people, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new recommendations to cancel or postpone events of 50 or more for eight weeks.
In her message, President Engelkemeyer also promised graduates an opportunity to commemorate their academic achievement at a future event, with details to be determined. “There will be a day that I will proudly, and with great joy, recognize this milestone in your lives,” she added. In addition, Nichols is planning to create a virtual event for May 2 in acknowledgement of the Commencement Ceremony that was scheduled to take place in Worcester’s DCU Center.
The college recently announced it was moving exclusively to online course delivery following this week’s spring break until at least April 3 and offering campus housing only to those students unable to return home.
“It is truly impossible to express how very sorry I am that your final semester has been disrupted in such a profound way,” Dr. Engelkemeyer said to the seniors, referring to the cancellation or deferment of in-person classes, and activities such as spring athletic events and travel opportunities. “For many of you and your families, I remember being there the day you moved into Shamie or other residence halls. And I fondly remember shaking each of your hands as we came together during fall orientation. You are all in my heart. Please know it aches for you.”
As the ever-changing situation develops, Nichols is keeping open various channels of communication to the students and the entire campus community.
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