Dear Class of 2020,

I am very sorry to inform you that we will not be permitted to hold a commencement ceremony this summer. We held out hope, for as long as we could, that we’d be able to celebrate your accomplishments in true Siena tradition. Unfortunately, we lack the needed approval from local and state governments to move forward. So, with a heavy heart, we must cancel our plans for an August 15 ceremony.

New York state restrictions on large gatherings are helping to suppress the spike in positive COVID-19 cases that we are seeing in other states. These restrictions are effective, but we had hoped that by August, they would no longer be necessary. Clearly, that is not the case, and we are simply unable to hold an event of this size.  

I know that you’ve all been looking forward to this, and your class leadership has made it clear that an in-person event is what you want. Rest assured, planning will continue for an event next spring/summer to welcome each of you back to campus for a unique celebration of the Class of 2020 when it is safe to do so. You will forever be remembered by your Siena family as the class that endured unfair challenges, but commendably persevered. We look forward to honoring you.

While we may not be able to congratulate you in person at the Times Union Center, you will be receiving a package from us in August that contains your diploma cover, a 2020 tassel, and special gifts to show our appreciation for all that you’ve accomplished through these challenging times. We hope it serves as a reminder that you are, and will forever be, a member of the Siena family and part of our 35,000+ alumni network.

Until we see you again, please stay well, stay in touch, and Go Saints!

Christopher P. Gibson '86, Ph.D.
President | Siena College