Commencement 2021 Information

Email sent to Seniors and Graduate students with Commencement 2021 Information

Thursday, April 1

Dear Seniors and Graduate Students,

Commencement is a treasured time when we all come together to mark a huge milestone in your lives and wish you our heartfelt best for success and happiness in your future. We know that you and your families are eager to learn additional information regarding our plans for Commencement and for recognizing your wonderful accomplishments here at Saint Michael’s College. We are very excited to be able to hold an in-person celebration, albeit limited in light of the pandemic and the Governor’s requirements, in honor of all that you have done in your time here.

As you know, we meet regularly with representatives from the State of Vermont and our peers at other institutions in the state, and we have pushed hard to be able to provide meaningful and celebratory events. As a result of those conversations, we are pleased to let you know that Commencement 2021 will have three elements which are detailed below. In the near future, we also plan to host a Zoom for seniors and graduate students so that we can answer your questions and provide any additional information we may have at that time. Please note that all our plans are subject to the state of the virus and the orders of the Governor.

Procession of Graduates: Thursday, May 13, 9:00 a.m. 

Students, in groups sized to comply with state guidelines and appropriately spaced and masked, will process in cap and gown around the campus green to the Ross Sports Center. Bagpipes will be playing, and faculty and staff, appropriately masked and distanced, and in numbers to comply with current state guidelines, will be present at various points along the route to cheer on the senior class as they process. Upon arriving at Ross, students will process across the commencement stage, as Dean of the Faculty Tara Natarajan presents the candidates by name to Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeffrey Trumbower and me. The Ross Sports Center will be decorated for commencement, complete with flags and banners.

Students will receive their diploma case and have an opportunity to remove their mask for an official graduation photo. Students will also receive the official graduation booklet, a memento of the occasion and their achievements. Actual diplomas will be mailed when final grades have been entered and formal documents have been printed. Preserving these essential elements of our typical Commencement exercises will provide the opportunity for the formal recognition our graduates deserve and set the stage for the official conferral of degrees and other celebratory elements of Commencement in the virtual ceremony that weekend.

The procession will be live-streamed for families. Unfortunately, because of State COVID regulations, we will not be able to permit families or other guests to be present during the procession.

A link to the live stream will be posted on the College’s Commencement webpage.

Baccalaureate Mass: Sunday, May 16, 11:00 a.m.
Live-Streamed—the link will be posted on the Commencement 2021 web page.

A Baccalaureate Mass will be held in the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel and celebrated by the principal celebrant Reverend Brian Cummings S.S.E. The Mass will be live-streamed.

Virtual Commencement: Sunday, May 16, 12:00 

Link will be posted on the Commencement 2021 web page.

The official commencement exercises and the conferral of degrees for the class of 2021 will take place virtually. During this ceremony, members of the Saint Michael’s College community will address the class, honorary degrees will be conferred, and remarks will be provided by student speakers. All graduates’ names will be shown as well as photos and video clips, along with music from students and members of the Saint Michael’s Community.

Additional Information:

  • Participation in the Procession is open, as it is every year, to all current seniors and graduate students who will have completed their degree programs at the end of the current semester and to seniors who are within eight credits of doing so. Alumni who completed their degrees in August 2020 and December 2020 are also invited to join us. (Please see the following bullet for information on quarantine requirements.)
  • Students who have been remote this semester, along with graduates from August/December 2020, are welcome to join the Procession of Graduates. Students who are coming to campus from out of state will be required to quarantine for two weeks, or seven days with proof of a negative test. All out-of-state students should provide proof of a negative test from within 72 hours of the event or provide documentation that they were vaccinated more than 2 weeks prior. Please adhere to the regulations described on this state website. Vermont residents do not need to quarantine, but they must provide documentation of a negative COVID test result from within 72 hours of the procession or vaccination more than two weeks prior. Remote students and recent alumni will not be able to enter any buildings other than as part of the procession. Residence areas will be off limits to them.
  • Along with all other College and University commencements planned in Vermont this spring, we will have a no guests policy for the procession on the 13th.
  • Recognition of College-wide awards will take place during exam week for students as part of a celebration of seniors.
  • Caps and gowns, honors cords, and announcements will be available at the Campus Store mid-April. The Campus Store will be emailing seniors and graduate students with information.
  • In order to group students according to State guidelines, students will be asked to register their intent to participate in the Procession of Graduates on May 13. Watch for an email to register.
  • Access to campus prior to 11:00 AM on May 13thwill be with SMC ID only.
  • All residential students will need to move off campus by 4:00 p.m., May 13.

We look forward to celebrating your accomplishments with you, and we will share any new information or details as we have them. If you have questions, please feel free to email commencement@smcvt.edu.

On behalf of the College, I congratulate you on your successes in this unusual year, and I very much look forward to celebrating with you.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt
President