Greetings, members of the Salem Family,
The past few weeks have been full of challenges that we, as an Academy and a College, never imagined. With the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff our primary concern, we chose to close our campus, move courses online, and ask students to leave the Salem campus without being able to say goodbye to their friends and to their beloved faculty. All of us are experiencing a sense of uncertainty about the circumstances that we face but in the face of this uncertainty, there are some things that are very clear: we will create opportunities to celebrate our students’ achievements and our enduring sisterhood.
For the safety of our entire community the 2020 in-person commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 will be postponed to a later date. A virtual conferring of degrees to celebrate the Class of 2020 will be held on May 23 at 10:00 am. The Board of Trustees and I felt that it was important to let you know about this decision as soon as possible, because we know that many families would be making plans to join us for commencement.
This doesn’t mean that we won’t recognize each of our College seniors and their accomplishments in ways that are joyful and celebratory. Dean Henking has formed a task force, chaired by Dr. Shawn Arango Ricks, Assistant Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, that will explore ways to recognize and honor our students’ achievements—your scholarship, your athletic accomplishments, and your leadership—in virtual awards ceremonies that will incorporate the finest of our traditions and the enduring legacy that the class of 2020 brought to our community.
We continue to be proud of the way students, staff, and faculty have adapted to change during these unprecedented times. The strength of Salem—of our community—will lead us through these events and demonstrate our resilience and our resolve.
Sandra J. Doran