February 2, 2021
To the members of the Class of 2021,
With less than five months to go before you make that monumental transition from being Dartmouth students to being Dartmouth alumni, I'm writing today to share our current thinking with respect to commencement.
As of today, our intent is to hold an in-person, on-campus celebration for all graduating students the week of June 6. Please know that this plan can and may change, but we hope and expect that we'll be able to host an event that will allow you to come together as a class and celebrate the culmination of your Dartmouth education and experience together. That, in itself, is certainly something to celebrate!
This scenario will, of course, require testing, quarantining, masking, distancing and other changes and accommodations to maintain the health and safety of our community. The most painful among them is that attendance at the in-person event will be limited to graduating students only.
I know how disappointing this is to all of you, especially given the role that your families and friends have played in supporting you on your extraordinary journeys toward your graduation day. However, continued travel and quarantine restrictions and the lack of global availability of a COVID-19 vaccine necessitate this decision. While family members and guests won't be able to be with you in person, we will stream the ceremony live and incorporate other opportunities for them to partake in the festivities virtually.
Final decisions pertaining to the celebration, including the precise date on which it will occur, will be made by the end of March, at which time we will share more details about the ceremony and related activities. Decisions will be based on the latest public health data and College and state guidelines concerning public and private gatherings. In the meantime, you can find answers to many of the questions that may be on your minds at https://www.dartmouth.edu/commence/.
Thank you for the extraordinary sacrifices you've made to keep our community safe under these extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances. We cannot wait to welcome all of you back to celebrate your accomplishments in person with you.
Philip J. Hanlon '77
Dartmouth has formed a high-level task force to plan for and manage possible disruptions related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, monitor federal and state recommendations, implement guidance, and communicate with our community.