Published on July 13, 2020 at 10:15 a.m.  

Dear Class of 2020,

It is with deep regret that we announce the cancelation of the in-person commencement ceremonies scheduled for August 13-15. While this announcement is incredibly disappointing for all of us, we believe this is the best decision for everyone involved.

We have spent the past two months planning, reimagining and doing everything possible to host a safe event for you and your families. Despite our best plans, we’ve come to the conclusion that an event of this nature is inadvisable, no matter how well planned and organized. In all of our decisions, the welfare of the Samford community is our priority as the university prepares for the safe return of our students and employees for the fall semester. We feel the need to make this decision now so that you and your families can plan accordingly.

In place of the in-person ceremonies, the university will host virtual commencement ceremonies for each of our 10 academic schools. These events will involve all of our academic deans, the originally scheduled speakers and the traditional presentation of university-wide awards. We will provide you with a virtual invitation and program so that you may invite family and friends to join in your celebration. The university will soon announce the schedule for each ceremony and a recording will be available on our commencement website following each event. In addition, for students who ordered but have not received their regalia, we will soon mail your cap, gown and hood (for graduate students) so you can incorporate them into your celebration. While this is not the plan that we had hoped for, we are committed to doing all we can to create a meaningful and special celebration of your accomplishments. Please plan to join us for these virtual events.

The Class of 2020 will always be very special to us and this university. We regret the many ways that COVID-19 impacted your final semester and this important milestone in your lives, but we are immensely proud of your accomplishments and the extraordinary resiliency you have demonstrated. Once COVID-19 is behind us, we remain committed to hosting you on campus for a long-awaited in-person celebration. Until then, we look forward to honoring you with virtual commencement events.

Please be on the lookout for communication from the registrar’s office regarding the specifics of your individual ceremony.

Michael Hardin, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Chad M. Carson, Interim Dean, Brock School of Business
Michael Crouch, Dean, McWhorter School of Pharmacy
Tim Hall, Dean, Howard College of Arts and Sciences
Joseph Hopkins, Dean, School of the Arts
Alan P. Jung, Dean, School of Health Professions
Melissa Lumpkin, Interim Dean, School of Public Health
Jane S. Martin, Interim Dean, Ida Moffett School of Nursing
Anna McEwan, Dean, Orlean Beeson School of Education
Henry C. Strickland, Dean, Cumberland School of Law
Douglas A. Sweeny, Dean, Beeson Divinity School
Mandy Hilsmier, Chair of the Faculty Senate

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