First and foremost, congratulations on the completion of your degree.
This is a milestone moment in your life and is worthy of celebration. Your resume, portfolio and personal profile will note that you are a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University. You have done something that carries significant weight into your future.
Normally, right about now, I would be selecting just the right words to share with you and your friends and family members on Trevecca’s beautiful Quad. Without the interruption of coronavirus, many of you would either be preparing for your Commencement Convocation or celebrating the achievement marked by ceremonies originally planned for earlier this week.
But COVID-19 has rearranged all of our lives. We are in a different mode of existence. Commencement is a beautiful time of celebration each spring, and I mourn with you that this year won’t look quite the same.
We want to accomplish two things: a virtual conferral of your degree to assure that you are not waiting on your diploma for a job application or a next-step post-graduate program AND a fall celebration of your graduation with your class and professors on Trevecca’s campus.
We’ll be hosting a virtual conferral of degrees on May 16 at 10 a.m. CDT. I hope you and your friends and family will join us on Facebook or livestream. Is this what we expected? Certainly not. But it is important to confer your degree and get your diploma in the mail.
In addition, we are already planning for our December 2019 and 2020 graduates to return to campus this fall for a physical, in-person graduation. We want to be as certain as possible that we can do this in a safe, joyful atmosphere. Details will be posted on the website as they become available.
Every May, we seek to dignify and celebrate your accomplishments as graduates. This May, I would encourage you to create your own celebration with your family and friends that coincides with Trevecca’s online virtual Conferral Ceremony. Invite meaningful people in your life to join you via livestream. Host an online celebration. Wear your regalia. Express thanks to those who helped you make it across the finish line. Take pictures. Eat good food. Ask friends to pray a blessing over you. Share your photos on social media so Denise and I—and the greater Trevecca community—can celebrate with you.
And this fall, we'll celebrate again, this time on campus.
As a believer in the power of celebration, mark this life-defining moment. Don't let the upheaval this virus has caused rob you of this moment. What you have done is worthy of some pomp and circumstance. I can't wait to celebrate you on May 16 and look forward to welcoming you back to the campus for the larger gathering in the fall.
Until then, "May our God bless you and keep you. May God make His face to shine on you. May God bless you and give you peace."