2020 Commencement Update

Dear Scripps Community,

Commencement is one of Scripps’ most cherished traditions, from processing through the doors of Denison Library to crossing the stage on Elm Tree Lawn. Seniors, families, faculty, and staff alike look forward to celebrating the achievements and aspirations of our graduates in a community-wide event that highlights the power of education, engagement, and community to transform lives and create a better world. Given that, it saddens me to inform you that Scripps College will postpone its 90th annual commencement ceremony, scheduled on Saturday, May 16, 2020, to a later date to be determined.

We arrived at this difficult decision based on advice from public health experts and epidemiological models about limiting the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, local and state restrictions on large gatherings, predictions about the length of time that the State of California’s Safer at Home Order will be in effect, and our desire to prioritize the health and wellbeing of our campus and neighboring communities.

We know this news comes as a disappointment to many in our community, and especially our seniors, whose final semester is already substantially different than they imagined. At this time, we do not know when commencement will take place, but we will announce the new date to the Scripps community with enough notice for students and their families to return to campus. I would like to reassure seniors and their families that the College remains hopeful that we will be able to honor Scripps’ commencement traditions and celebrate the Class of 2020 in person and that we will when it is safe to do so.

We recognize that this is not how any of us expected to mark our seniors’ accomplishments, but we are incredibly grateful to the students and faculty who are rising to the challenge of remote instruction and upholding their commitment to academic excellence. We also appreciate the families who are providing support and encouragement to our seniors as they approach this uncertain time with confidence, courage, and hope.

We look forward to the time when we can celebrate the Class of 2020’s remarkable achievements and resilience together. Until then, we remain united in seeking our seniors’ wellbeing and success in the months ahead.


Lara Tiedens


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