Announcement regarding Commencement

March 18, 2020

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:

The events of recent days and weeks have defined new challenges for us—as a University community and as members of a global community—as we grapple with the impacts of the novel coronavirus. We have sought to respond in the best ways we are capable—seeking to protect our community and to ensure the strongest possible framework for the pursuit of knowledge and learning.

A few days ago, we announced that we would extend our virtual learning environment through the end of the semester, to include final exams. Since that time, additional guidance has been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on community gatherings that further reinforces our decision and causes us to look to extend our review of activities to the period of Commencement.

After careful consideration, we have made the determination that it will be necessary to postpone Commencement activities to a time in which we can safely convene as a community.

For each Georgetown student, the experience of Commencement represents the culmination of years of work and significant academic achievement. Commencement provides all of us with a way to gather to recognize the achievements of our students and their contributions to the life of our community. Each Class has the privilege of sharing this experience together—of celebrating, with joy and excitement, individual and collective accomplishments and the future work that our students will pursue, shaped by their formation at Georgetown.

I share this information with you today to reassure you that we are committed to holding Commencement ceremonies and to ensure that our students and families have as much time to prepare as possible.

In the time ahead, we will be developing our plans, and we will be communicating updates as our planning for these rescheduled ceremonies advances.

We have had to adjust to many new realities in recent weeks. This moment has required that we come together in new ways—that we find new ways of relating and connecting, new ways of encounter—and that we demonstrate, in ever deeper ways, our care for one another. I wish to extend my most sincere gratitude to each member of our community for the ways that you have enabled all of us to respond, together.

I look forward to the moment when we can be together celebrating the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 with all of you.


John J. DeGioia