Commencement Ceremonies and Celebrations for the Class of 2020

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As the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect the nation and the world, Colgate University has announced that it cannot hold a traditional commencement ceremony this spring. This is a painful but necessary decision, as the continuing responses to the pandemic have called for continued travel limitations and social distancing. 

To celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020, Colgate University is planning two events to mark the accomplishments of the Class of 2020.

The full details of these celebrations will be developed through the work of the Class of 2020 Commencement Committee, which will be composed of Colgate faculty and administrators and members of the Class of 2020. 


These events are:

  • A virtual celebration, to be held on Sunday, May 17, 2020 — the original date of the commencement ceremony. 
  • An on-campus weekend gathering for all members of the Class of 2020 and their families and guests on May 22 and 23, 2021. The weekend will include the traditional Senior Torchlight Procession and several other events designed to celebrate the class while affording families and friends an opportunity to participate in the traditions and spirit that mark a Colgate commencement weekend.

Planning for an on-campus gathering in spring of 2021 will provide enough lead time to allow as many members of the class and their families as possible to come to campus for this weekend. 

Members of the Class of 2020 will receive their degrees and their class sweaters as soon as they can be mailed upon completion of the semester and the formal voting of degrees.   

For those who need evidence of their completion of degrees by May 17, 2020, for their work, graduate school, military service, or fellowships, the Registrar will provide degree verification on May 18 upon request. 

The Class of 2020 Commencement Committee will be formed immediately so that these events can be shaped in ways that best reflect the interests and creativity of the class.

Visit for more information; additional details will be shared as plans are set.