Dear Class of 2020 –
It is hard to believe that in a few short weeks you will complete your USC academic journey. Under normal circumstances, we would be celebrating your accomplishments this May under blue skies and with your friends, loved ones, and the faculty and staff who have been with you along the way. We are so sorry that the joyful in-person celebration that we all love has had to be delayed. The pandemic that has swept across our world has disrupted everyone’s lives beyond what we could have anticipated. Yet, you have responded with remarkable grit, optimism and determination, adapting to this new world immediately. Your courage and perseverance are marks of true character that inspire us all.
Today I want to bring an update on our plans for an exciting full day of virtual celebration on May 15 when we will confer your degrees. Over the past several weeks, our Commencement Committee has gathered input from our students, faculty, deans, and alumni. You have all let us know how important it is to share personal moments with your friends, mentors, loved ones, and your individual schools. We hope to bring you that personal feeling with a meaningful, fun, and interactive celebration of your extraordinary accomplishments.
On May 15, our celebration will start at 9 a.m. PDT when the Provost and I host a special live virtual ceremony conferring your degrees. Following the ceremony, each school will host its own virtual celebration for its graduating class. The USC website will transform into an interactive hub for the entire day featuring voices from the entire community – family, Deans, faculty, staff, alumni, and students – honoring our graduates through videos, photos, social streams, and uploaded messages. We will also have a number of performances throughout the day, as well as celebrations from individual schools and a few surprises. In the week leading up to our virtual celebration, USC News will feature many stories on our website about the class of 2020, chronicling your USC journey and welcoming you as our newest alumni class. We have a lot of exciting ways you and your loved ones can be involved, and I hope you will take the time to engage in these opportunities and embrace this event. Please visit commencement.usc.edu for all the details on how you can participate.
Our planning for a traditional in-person USC Commencement ceremony for the class of 2020 is also well underway. We will be in touch as soon as we know when we can welcome you and your families back to campus for our in-person Commencement.
In the meantime, we hope these virtual celebrations will give you a sense of pride in being part of the Trojan Family. You have achieved so much under extraordinary circumstances, and I could not be prouder of each and every one of you. On behalf of the entire USC community, I salute you and look forward to joining you virtually on May 15 and in person when the time is right.
Carol L. Folt