Health Update: Preparing for Return to Campus

2020 Commencement Update


Update from Mark Rubinstein, President of Granite State College

Dear Students,

Completing a college degree is a momentous achievement for anyone, but knowing the unique paths that each of our students follows to reach that milestone makes the accomplishment even more significant for you and for us. For this reason, graduation—the opportunity for you to be recognized by your family and friends and to be celebrated by your fellow students, faculty, and the College—is always a meaningful day for the Granite State College community. Understanding how important that day is, we have been putting significant thought into how we honor the Class of 2020, especially during these challenging times.

To help ensure the safety and well-being of our community, we have decided that our May 2020 graduation ceremony cannot take place as planned; however, we are not cancelling Commencement. Rather, we are postponing the celebration.

After careful consideration, including consultation with the Virtual Student Advisory Board and the College’s University System Student Board representatives, the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 will be celebrated on May 15, 2021, along with the Class of 2021.

Before arriving at this decision, we did consider a number of alternatives. These included a virtual (online) ceremony, and alternate dates in late November through December 2020; however, we were not confident that the virtual event afforded the opportunity for recognition and celebration that you deserve and the late fall dates presented potential conflicts with many students’ holiday traditions and the potential for inclement weather in Plymouth, New Hampshire, where the College holds our Commencement.

With such a diverse student community, we understand that the final solution that works for most, may not be ideal for all. It’s our hope with advanced notice, graduates will be able to save the date and join us for a most meaningful commencement ceremony!

The Registrar’s Office will reach out with next steps to confirm participation and regalia order.

We are also expanding our celebration of the Class of 2020 during the upcoming months with the following plans:

    • Commemorative Gift
      Students who planned to attend the 2020 ceremony will receive an alumni gift from the College, including your Class of 2020 tassel.

    • Alumni Social
      Join us for your first-ever alumni event in honor of the Class of 2020. Details to come.

    • Class of 2020 Tribute
      Although we will not meet in person in May 2020, we still want to know what graduation means to you. We will highlight our graduates in social media and other materials to mark your milestone.  Share Your Story >>

There is much planning to be done, so please be patient as we map out next steps. In the meantime, please view our Commencement FAQs for details.

Together, we will persevere, and I look forward to celebrating with each of you when the time is right. If you have specific feedback you’d like to offer, please reply back to share your thoughts.


Mark Rubinstein
Granite State College

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