Commencement Ceremonies Postponed for 2020 Graduates
Based on the current public health guidelines for Minnesota and public events, we have made the difficult decision to postpone Commencement ceremonies until May 2021. The University heard from many members of the Class of 2020 that postponing our Commencement celebration was preferred to canceling or hosting a virtual celebration, and we want to honor this request.
There will be no December 2020 Commencement ceremony. Diplomas will be mailed, and December 2020 graduates will be included in the May 2021 Commencement, as will our May 2020 graduates.
Advance Orders for Academic Garb
A few students have inquired about the possibility of purchasing caps and gowns to wear for photos or personal graduation celebrations. Academic garb can be purchased here. Please be aware that once an order has been placed, there are no returns and no refunds. Orders take 7–10 days to fulfill.
This spring, we made the decision to postpone our May 2020 Commencement ceremonies in order to protect the safety of our community during the coronavirus pandemic. We heard from many of you that postponing our celebration was preferred to canceling or hosting a virtual celebration, and we want to continue to honor this request.
In our April communication about this decision, we identified three options for holding graduate and undergraduate Commencement ceremonies for all three colleges — College for Women, College for Adults, Graduate College — pending the status of the COVID-19 public health guidelines. Based on the current public health guidelines for Minnesota and public events, and what we anticipate will be the situation through the fall and into winter, we have made the difficult decision to postpone Commencement ceremonies for our May 2020 graduates until May 2021. There will be no December 2020 Commencement ceremonies; the December graduates will be included in the May 2021 Commencement.
Graduates who would have been recognized this past May will instead be invited to a specially designated ceremony for their college in May 2021, including all of our traditional St. Catherine events that accompany the main exercises. We envision these events in May 2021 as both a historic postponed Commencement ceremony and a one-year reunion for the Class of 2020. The Class of 2021 also will celebrate their Commencement ceremonies in May 2021. (Please note: All students eligible for graduation this past May had their degrees conferred and diplomas were mailed to students in June.)
We endeavor to make our campus environment as safe as we know how to do for our students, faculty, staff and guests so we can celebrate your achievements and this important right of passage for you, your family, and your friends. Crossing the stage is a defining moment for our students who have worked so hard to earn their degree, and it is why we are committed to providing our graduates the opportunity to participate in an in-person ceremony. We will share more details in the new year regarding Commencement ceremonies in May 2021. As we all know, this presumes that large, indoor group gatherings of hundreds of people will be allowed by next May. For many reasons, let us hope and pray this will be true.
We are incredibly proud of your resilience, strength, and tenacity to persevere. We cannot wait to celebrate with you and honor all that you have done — and will do — to transform the world.
Anita Thomas, PhD
Executive Vice President and Provost
Our Commencement ceremony has been postponed, but you can still join us in celebrating the St. Catherine University Class of 2020!
Whether you are a graduate or know someone who is, show your pride and offer congratulations by downloading St. Kate's yard signs, campus-themed backdrops for Zoom gatherings, and custom images to post to social media.
Notice of Filming and Photography
By participating in Commencement, you consent to be photographed, filmed, and/or live-streamed during the ceremony at The O'Shaughnessy and/or the Baccalaureate Liturgy in the Chapel.