Dear Members of the Class of 2020 and their families, and all Bryant Faculty and Staff,
After consulting with public health experts and reviewing our graduation ceremony plans for the Class of 2020 with the staff of Rhode Island State Governor Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health, we have come to the unfortunate conclusion that it is not possible to safely host an in-person commencement ceremony at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence on August 29.
We know this is disappointing. When President Machtley announced the postponed date and new location for Bryant’s 157th Commencement in April the trajectory of the Coronavirus outbreak was still uncertain. Over time it has become clear that a late summer or fall large event with thousands of graduates and guests would create a health risk, and state officials have confirmed that under the current Phase III requirements which are expected to remain in place it would not be allowed. Rhode Island, which by many accounts is leading the nation in combating the pandemic, has worked very hard to slow the spread of COVID-19. In Phase III of Rhode Island’s reopening, indoor gatherings are capped at 125 people and outdoor gatherings capped at 250, and there are no plans for the state to move past Phase III in the foreseeable future. Many states have a test positivity rate greater than 5%, and Rhode Island requires visitors from these states, which include the home states of many 2020 graduates and their families, to self-quarantine for 14 days. None of Rhode Island’s colleges or universities is having a graduation in the fall, even though many schools had plans to do so as we did.
Based on a thorough review of the latest medical guidelines to create a safe environment for this important ceremony and host a proper ceremony for thousands of graduates and guests, without losing the festive spirit of this landmark event, we have made the decision to reschedule Commencement for the Class of 2020 on Sunday, May 23, 2021. Moving the date to next spring will allow us to welcome our graduates and families back to the beautiful Bryant campus where we can enjoy our traditions, including the procession through Bryant’s historic archway. We will spend the time between now and then working to plan a special celebration that is worthy of the accomplishments of the 2020 graduates and aligned with the public health best practices prevailing next May. More details will be shared by the Commencement Office in the coming weeks ahead.
Together we wish our Class of 2020 graduates and their families a safe and healthy year with accomplishment and continued success.
Go Books! Go Bulldogs! Go Bryant!
Bryant University President Ross Gittell
Bryant University Provost Glenn Sulmasy
Bryant University is in the process of mailing diplomas to graduates of the Class of 2020.
Undergraduate May graduates' academic transcripts will show their earned degree as of May 20. You may order electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse at www.studentclearinghouse.org. Paper transcripts currently are unavailable as the office is working remotely.
Academic transcripts for May graduates of the Graduate Programs will be available May 25. You may order electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse at www.studentclearinghouse.org. Paper transcripts currently are unavailable as the office is working remotely.