Clemson University president announces May graduation ceremony postponement


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Clemson students won't have their traditional graduation in May
Clemson students won't have their traditional graduation in May

Clemson University President Jim Clements announced on Friday that the school's graduation ceremony in May has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Check out the full email below:

Dear Clemson Family:

I hope this message continues to find you and those closest to you doing well during these uncertain times.

Unfortunately, the beginning of the week brought new challenges that had nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic, but our University team responded well and we finished the week strong. Even as I write this, however, several members of the Clemson family and many of our Upstate neighbors continue to recover from a series of severe storms that cut through the area early Monday morning.

The most serious of the storms spawned a large tornado that did significant damage to homes and businesses in Seneca. Thankfully, our main campus was spared the brunt of the storm and we escaped with only minor loss of trees and a bit of water damage. Still, thousands of families lost power – some still have no electricity – and several employees suffered serious damage to their homes and property.

As frightening as this situation was, I am proud of the way the University team responded. Our facilities crew quickly cleaned tree damage on campus and the Clemson University Fire Department did great work responding to emergency calls around the city, while also supporting regional search and rescue efforts. Managers across the University have stayed closely connected to affected employees to ensure they have the work flexibility and support necessary to deal with their specific circumstances.

This also completes our fourth week of online learning and leaves us with just one week of classes before final exams begin. As we near the end of the academic year, our thoughts naturally turn to those students who are about to become our newest Clemson alumni. That’s never been more true than this year as we continue to navigate this unprecedented time in our country’s – and the world’s – history.

I am filled with deep pride over the accomplishments of our graduating students who have handled the last several weeks of their time as Clemson students with resolve, creativity and grace. They have persevered and responded like champions, in the very best spirit of our University.

At the same time, our pride is coupled with sadness and disappointment that we can’t celebrate their accomplishments in the traditional manner this May. Graduation at Clemson is truly special and I look forward each year to handing out diplomas and personally congratulating our new graduates on a job well done.

Unfortunately, circumstances don’t make that possible this May. Rest assured, though, we are committed to recognizing the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 in a manner consistent with Clemson’s history and tradition.

I commit to all our May graduates that Clemson will have an on-campus graduation celebration in their honor either later this summer or in the fall, when it is safe for you and your families to be back on campus.

At Clemson, family comes first and we can’t wait to help celebrate our newest graduates as we have those who have come before them. The Class of 2020 will forever hold a special place in all our hearts for what it has accomplished in the face of unprecedented circumstances, and we intend to express our pride and joy over your achievements in a way that will be memorable.

We will share more details on our plans when they become available. In the meantime, our creative teams across the University also are hard at work preparing engaging ways to celebrate the achievements of our newest graduates this May through our online and social media channels, so stay tuned!

My continued thanks go out to the entire Clemson Family for your support of our great University – and to all our students, finish strong!

Go Tigers!

Jim Clements

President

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