Celebrating Our Class of 2021

As we welcome Spring, we look forward to celebrating Alfred University’s Class of 2021! This occasion marks a significant accomplishment for our graduates and we are excited to announce that we will recognize them through an array of events (including some big surprises) in our 2021 hybrid graduation ceremonies. The events will feature live and virtual components. Here’s a sampling of the activities under consideration:

  • Transforming Academic Alley/Allen Way with food, flowers, and a signature wall created by our Class of 2021 members.
  • “Riding with the Zup”, on Alfred University’s own Outside of Ordinary seven-person bicycle (only three at a time!).
  • Road race around Alfred with way-stations conducting an Alfred University trivia contest.
  • Design your own chalk walk.
  • Suggest your own celebration activity or event (remember, we still have to maintain safeguards).
  • You get the idea! The goal is to make these final days for our Class of 2021 as fun and memorable as possible.

More details will follow. As discussed, by Zoom, with our Student Senate officers two weeks ago and our seniors last week, we are actively looking for input from our graduating students regarding potential celebratory activities. We will be conducting a survey in the near future through which the members of our Class of 2021 can suggest such ideas.

While we are disappointed that we will not be able to conduct our traditional, in-person Commencement ceremony due to the ongoing health risks and current CDC and State COVID-related restrictions on gatherings, we will honor the spirit and symbolism of that ceremony. We will do so by finding creative ways to recognize our students individually and celebrate their accomplishments in person.

Our formal Commencement ceremony will take place virtually on Saturday, May 15, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Family members and friends will be invited to attend and to contribute well wishes through the chat function during the ceremony. A link will be provided closer to the ceremony. Students participating will include August and December 2020, Allen Term 2021, and May 2021 graduates. While specific details have yet to be finalized, the ceremony will include opening remarks, an invocation, and comments by a keynote speaker and the 2021 Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior honorees.

Following the general opening ceremony, students will join virtual ceremonies hosted by their respective colleges and schools, which will include comments by the deans. In these ceremonies, students’ names will be read and their photos displayed. In-person school- and college-specific celebrations will be held prior to the virtual commencement ceremonies with the details for those events to be announced shortly.

A general University-wide ceremony will conclude the festivities on May 15 with our students’ induction as alumni, closing remarks, the benediction, and the singing of the alma mater by our Alfred University Chorus.

A professional photographer will be on campus the week of April 12. All graduating students will have the opportunity to have a photo taken receiving their diploma. Details on how to register for the photo opportunity will be forthcoming. Students opting not to take advantage of the customized, in-person diploma presentation will be welcome to submit their own photos.

Our University will provide students with mortarboards, stoles, and purple and gold tassels for the photo session and to keep as a permanent remembrance of their graduation. Gowns will be available for purchase through our bookstore. Instructions for ordering the gowns will be forthcoming.

Please join me in commending and thanking the student members of our graduating class for the resourcefulness, resoluteness, and resilience that they have displayed during the closing stretch of their studies at Alfred University. We look forward to recognizing their justly-earned Alfred University degrees over the coming weeks. While the means for doing so will be Outside of Ordinary we are committed to making the celebratory moments for our Class of 2021 memorable.

Fiat Lux!