College Convocation 2020

A message from John W. Boyer, Dean of the College

Dear Seniors in the College:

In light of today’s announcement that the University of Chicago will virtually host the 533rd Convocation ceremonies due to COVID-19, I write to share the College’s perspective and affirm our intent to celebrate your accomplishments. 

When students join the College, it is a moment of great enthusiasm, hope and pride as we consider the collective responsibilities and individual opportunities that come with joining this community of learning. Students become members of this community, not only because of the academic customs and rituals they inherit or the distinguished faculty who teach them, but because they themselves add to the great reservoir of talent, interest, and commitment at the core of our institution.

It is profoundly disappointing to now be separated and unable to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating Seniors with the traditions of the University of Chicago’s June Convocation. I, along with all faculty and staff in the College, share in your deep regret at this situation. Yet the risks posed by COVID-19 are such that we must prioritize the health and safety of the community over even our most cherished customs. I want you to know that starting today, we are beginning alternative planning to honor graduating College seniors remotely in 2020. We will also hold distinct celebratory events for members of the Class of 2020 who accept the University’s invitation to return to campus in June 2021 and participate fully in the 534th Convocation ceremonies.

The College will convey the details of its virtual Convocation plans over the next weeks. In the meantime, students should contact their academic advisers with urgent questions or concerns.

I recognize that this adds to the frustration that you feel about the spring quarter. Please rest assured that the College is immensely proud of you and remains committed to doing all it can to meaningfully honor all graduating Seniors.


John W. Boyer
Dean of the College
The University of Chicago