Dear Madonna University Graduate:
In recognition of this milestone event in your life, and given that current circumstances prevent me from addressing you in person, I am writing to extend my heartfelt congratulations on completing all of the requirements for your degree at Madonna University.
As I’ve said before, the decision to close the campus pained me deeply. And, one of the most difficult of those decisions was to postpone our Commencement ceremony. This is a very sad result of the Coronavirus outbreak. I want you to know how much celebrating commencement means to all of us. The administration, your professors, and our staff members share in your loss.
With that in mind, I assure you that we will have an appropriate ceremony as soon as I can arrange it within our state restrictions. You may ask what would this look like? While I can’t say for certain, I want you to know what I envision.
We may have several smaller ceremonies, with flexible dates, making sure you and your family members can attend while practicing social distancing. I am committed to handing you your degree in person with all of the pomp and circumstance that make academic ceremonies like this special. We are planning that every graduate will have an opportunity to be personally recognized.
Also, my wife Nancy and I will still have the special graduate receptions as previously planned for you in our home as soon as the rules for such gatherings are relaxed.
In the meantime, you can begin celebrating today. The only difference for you will be that your celebration will last for some time, at least until I can congratulate you in person. Your graduation 2020 web page is now active at www.madonna.edu/graduation. There, you can find details concerning how your degree will be granted as well as a form to submit photos and videos of yourself for use on the webpage and in social media.
Today you join our more than 30,000 alumni from around the world who support you and send you their prayers.
I will always remember you as a special class. You are heroic Crusaders who embody the Madonna spirit and inspire us all.
Until we meet in a real commencement setting, I leave you with these words of conveyance:
With the power invested in me by the Felician Sisters of North America, the Board of Trustees of Madonna University, and the State of Michigan, I hereby award you the degree of which you are entitled, with all of the rights, privileges and recognition appertaining thereto. Congratulations.