August 14, 2020
Over the last several weeks, we have been in close contact with the event venue for the planned October 24 Commencement—the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Following those discussions, Westfield State was met with the unfortunate reality that we will not be able to host an October 24 ceremony, as planned. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s August 7 announcement to remain in step one of Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan, coupled with further limitations related to gathering sizes for events held indoors and outdoors, lead to further uncertainty that current restrictions would loosen in time for our October Commencement event date. After discussing a variety of potential alternate solutions, including a series of smaller events to accommodate less guests and more social distancing indoors or outdoors, it became apparent that the University cannot offer a prudent and safe solution to host the 2020 Commencement ceremony in the fall of 2020.
We share your disappointment in this news. We take great pride in hosting our annual Commencement exercises as a meaningful and culminating event for Westfield State graduates.
We recognize that virtual celebrations were not the preferred celebration for you as the Class of 2020, as relayed by many of you during a virtual class meeting in the spring. However, Provost Robert Kersting, Ph.D. is working with academic deans and department chairs to develop more intimate virtual celebrations by academic college or department. You will be receiving information about these events in the next month.
We continue with our commitment to have an in-person Commencement ceremony, but at a much later date. We are working on this event for spring 2021, and we will stay in contact as we finalize this event also.
We continue to be here for you and support you throughout your future personal and professional journey.