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Coronavirus Response Information

Commencement

University Communication

Message from Dean Long

March 20, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As you saw earlier today, the University has decided to postpone an in-person Commencement event this spring. I believe this is a prudent decision in light of the increasing restrictions on large gatherings and travel, and it is in line with Harvard’s — and HGSE’s — commitment to health and safety. 

Still, I know this decision comes as a deep disappointment to many. What I want to say to you now is: I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry that the moment to recognize you in this way has been delayed. I know that the fact that this decision has been made in the face of unprecedented challenges does not lessen the sadness many are feeling.

Commencement is a highlight of the academic year. Our students, faculty, and staff alike look forward to Commencement events as joyful opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of our students. And students very much want to share the moment with loved ones who have been there with them every step of the way. I know for many of you, the chance to walk across the stage and to celebrate with friends and family is something you have been eagerly anticipating, perhaps for many years.

 But as President Bacow said, we will mark your graduations this spring, albeit remotely. And you have my assurance that we are actively developing plans for a future gathering to rightly and exuberantly celebrate your Commencement. Nothing will make me happier than to congratulate you, greet your loved ones, and wish you well, in person. Please stay tuned for details on these events in the days and weeks ahead.

In the meantime, I hope you take good care and know that all of us are working hard to ensure this community continues to thrive.

Best,
Bridget


Bridget Long, Ph.D.
Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education