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As part of our COVID-19 response, all campus events have been postponed until further notice with the exception of virtual events. More information regarding our response can be found at https://update.gannon.edu.

Ruskin, Florida Commencement - POSTPONED

To the members of our Ruskin community,

I hope this message finds you and your families healthy and safe. It is with special sympathy and great regret that, in a world so disrupted by Covid-19 and the challenges in particular in the Hillsborough County community, it has become clear that we cannot conduct our in-person celebration of Commencement scheduled for Aug. 30.

Though the situation could show signs of improvement in Florida in the coming weeks, we do not see a path for a large social gathering in the short term. To be respectful of you and the current realities, we wanted to give you enough notice to minimize issues with flights and accommodations.

We have been planning and eagerly looking forward to celebrating your achievement in person. Back in May, it looked as though Florida – with its low infection rate at the time – would be ready for a gathering as large as the one we would need for your commencement. I know you have been holding out hope that the recognition you have earned might still be presented in the usual way. We have all been hoping. So, I expect this news is sharply disappointing.

We are going to reinvent this wonderful ritual to honor and celebrate with you in the best way that we can in this most unusual time.

Getting the details right will be important, and we know you will have ideas and questions. We will be gathering input and will share updated information with everyone as a plan is developed.

For now, here is a general overview:

  • An online event on Saturday, Aug. 29, to confer degrees and to celebrate our graduates.
  • Students will soon be mailed a Commencement Package that will include regalia and special instructions to submit photos to be used in the virtual commencement.
  • The mailing will have some additional surprises for you to help us all celebrate.
  • Family, friends, faculty, and staff will be able to send messages that will be included in the commencement program.

We will be in touch in the next few weeks with more specific details. We do understand your justified disappointment, but please know that we intend to honor your incredible accomplishments.

The weeks and months ahead may hold harder challenges for us all. I have every expectation that you will meet those new challenges with the same patience, courage, selflessness and grace that I have seen in the past several months.

 

May you all stay safe,

Keith Taylor, Ph.D.
President

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