Dickinson has made the decision to move classes online for the rest of the semester. The campus is not open to visitors until further notice.
President Margee Ensign sent the following message to the campus community on March 23 to report that Dickinson has made the decision to postpone Commencement:
To the Dickinson Community:
It is with enormous disappointment that I announce we have made the difficult decision to postpone Commencement. I suppose it will not come as much of a surprise, given the situation. Neither senior week activities nor Commencement weekend activities will take place this May.
Seniors, I know how terribly disappointing this must be to you. This is not the way you wanted to finish your time with us at Dickinson. I know you miss being on campus with your friends and that you wanted to celebrate with our community, as we wanted to celebrate with you. However, this unprecedented crisis requires unprecedented responsibility of each of us. For your safety, the safety of your family, the safety of your friends, and the safety of our entire community, it is clear that we cannot continue to plan for a large in-person celebration this spring. We simply can’t.
But please understand that we are not canceling Commencement. We are only postponing it. I promise that you will have a chance to hear your name announced and you will walk down the steps of Old West—when it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, we are working on developing creative virtual ways to acknowledge your accomplishments. I have enjoyed watching some students from other institutions holding “Fauxmencements” which they share on YouTube. If you have ideas for virtual celebrations, please email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seniors, I know you have real concerns about jobs, internships, fellowships or graduate school once your coursework is done. Staff at the Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development remain ready to help you define your goals and develop a concrete action plan. You can schedule Zoom appointments and see workshop offerings using Handshake or by contacting Pam Blessing at email@example.com. Information on the official conferral of degrees will be sent in a later communication.
Thank you all for the many ways you have stepped up to the challenges of dealing with COVID-19. Daily you have shown me the sort of community that Dickinson College truly is: caring, responsible, flexible, honorable and courageous. The common good has truly been our priority. I have never been more proud to be a part of this community.
Please be sure you are taking the time to care for yourself during this very stressful time. Reach out to neighbors and others who may be vulnerable. While we must be physically distant, we can continue to connect by phone, by email and over social media. Even in isolation we can, and we should, be together.
Be assured that we will continue to provide regular updates to you, and please do not hesitate to reach out with questions.
Margee M. Ensign
Published March 23, 2020