When will the rescheduled in-person Commencement take place?
While we had hoped to be able to hold an in-person commencement ceremony at Loyola in August, the COVID-19 global pandemic has continued to surface unprecedented challenges. As a university, we felt obligated to respect these serious challenges and the impact they have had on so many members of our community, as well as consider them against the immense logistical coordination required of any commencement celebration. Even as we aimed to hold separate ceremonies for each college, we faced enormous impracticalities that would stand in the way of a proper celebration. The more we explored the possibilities, the more we realized that at this juncture, holding commencement on campus in August was not a feasible option, as we had hoped. We are deeply saddened by this, and grateful for the understanding of graduates and their families.
We remain committed to celebrating the Class of 2020 in the safest ways possible and have several options for our graduates:
- All members of the Class of 2020 are invited to participate in the 2021 Commencement and to walk on stage in their regalia next May. We plan to celebrate your class with special reunion parties, including Maroon and Gold for the undergraduates. This will be an opportunity to see your friends and faculty again on campus and we will make it very special.
- Anyone who can’t join us for commencement next May is invited to walk with the graduating class anytime over the next five years.
- For those of you who are nearby on August 6-8, or who would still like to come to town, you are invited to come to campus to get your regalia and take a photo receiving your “diploma” from President Tetlow. We will gather in smaller groups of graduates and their guests, spread out in Holy Name of Jesus church on campus. You can experience the moment of having your name called and receive your diplomas in cap and gown in front of family and friends.
In order to participate in the photo opportunity on August 6-8, you must register for a timeslot and also register with Candid Campus to ensure you get your official photo thereafter. Local guidance currently requires that no more than 25 people attend the event at a time, so you must register ahead to reserve your spot. Registration runs from 8 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21 through 5 p.m. on Monday, July 27, or whenever all time slots are filled.
- Each graduate will register for a 30 minute session and may bring up to four guests. You will need to register your guests on the registration form (so we know how much room we have). If you need to bring additional guests, please email email@example.com and we will make adjustments on a case-by-case basis.
- You and all members of your party will be required to wear masks, but you will be allowed to remove it when you receive your diploma and take your photo.
- These small photo ceremonies will consist of a brief welcome to set the occasion, then we will call your name to come receive your diploma from President Tetlow. (Though of course, we’ve mailed the real diplomas to you, as we always do in a normal year, so it will be a diploma case.) We’ll take an official photograph for you, and then you can walk around campus with your guests posing for photographs at all your favorite spots.
What about graduate programs and the College of Law?
Graduates from the College of Law and the School of Nursing will have photo opportunity sessions on August 6. Graduates from other graduate programs will have photo opportunities on August 7-8.
What about the other events like the Masses and the Maroon and Gold Gala?
While current restrictions prevent us from holding these events in August 2020, we will plan special reunion parties for the Class of 2020, including Maroon and Gold, around the 2021 Commencement.
When will I get my diploma?
All diplomas have been mailed to the address we have on file for each graduate.
What about my cap and gown?
Delivery of the caps and gowns was delayed until mid-July. We will hold your cap and gown for the August photo opportunity or for participation in the May 2021 ceremony. We will contact students who have indicated that they will not participate in either of these options to determine whether they would like to have their regalia mailed to them or to discuss other options.
Will graduation fees be refunded?
The fees support celebrating the Class of 2020 at this year’s virtual celebration and events that will be held in May 2021, creating and mailing graduates’ diplomas and leather covers, and buying and shipping regalia, among other commencement-related activities. Graduation fees are always collected from all graduates, regardless of their participation in the ceremony and other Commencement events. There has been no change in policy.