Commencement for the Class of 2021

March 24, 2021

Dear all,

I am writing to provide an update on our plans for the Class of 2021 Commencement.

It is my pleasure to let you know that we are planning to host an in-person Commencement ceremony on June 6th including students who are studying remotely and wish to return to campus. Our goal is to gather all students together in one ceremony outside; however, current New York State guidelines do not allow for gatherings of more than 500 people. If this restriction persists, we will hold two ceremonies outside on the same day to accommodate all graduating students in the Class of 2021. We are hopeful that the regulations may open up and allow more people to gather, so that we can celebrate in one ceremony together.

Unfortunately, we are not able to invite family or friends on campus for Commencement. This has been an extremely difficult decision, and we explored many alternative plans to try to accommodate families and friends. In the end, we recognized we could not host families and friends safely and in accordance with New York State guidelines, during what is still a dangerous global pandemic.

To our Vassar parents, we very much appreciate the seminal roles that families and friends have played in the success of your students completing their undergraduate degrees. We honor you. It is with deep regret that we are unable to include families and friends in the in-person Commencement. The ceremony will be available via a live webcast, allowing families to be a part of this important moment virtually.

We will be welcoming families and friends to campus during assigned move-out times on June 6 after Commencement and on June 7. During these move-out times, students and guests may pose at special photo opportunities stationed around campus and enjoy unstructured time when the campus will be open to explore (with masks and in a socially distant manner), allowing for a final farewell to the beauty that has been home to the Class of 2021 for these past years. Residential Life will email all seniors living on campus to sign up for staggered move-out times for Sunday June 6th after Commencement and Monday, June 7th. Comprehensive move-out instructions as well as information for students studying remotely who wish to attend Commencement will be emailed by Residential Life by the end of April.

We have surmounted many challenges in the past year, but more importantly, we have seen and celebrated the strength, courage, and fearless creativity that defines the Vassar Class of 2021. I wish you all continued health and safety as we all move on to our next chapters.

I look forward to celebrating the Class of 2021 Commencement on June 6th.

Elizabeth H. Bradley, President
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604