By Ashley Thomaz

Mount Saint Mary College will host a commencement ceremony in May honoring both the class of 2020 and 2021.

While there may be some restrictions to the graduation ceremony, students will still be able to celebrate this important milestone in their life. New York State guidelines limit the amount of people attending public gatherings therefore, MSMC will have two ceremonies. One will take place on May 21 for the School of Nursing and the other on May 22 for all other graduates. 

In an email sent out by MSMC President Jason Adsit, he stated, “Unfortunately, we will not be able to invite family or friends on campus for Commencement.” There will be a livestream where family and friends can virtually watch the ceremony. Adsit emphasized that he “did not come to this decision lightly.” 

MSMC Senior Kimmy Kelly says, “Graduating college is something we and our families have been imagining for at least the last four years and now it’s playing out as no one expected.” 

Orange County currently has a 5.9% positivity rate, but reported that coronavirus cases and deaths have decreased significantly and vaccinations have picked up, averaging about 2.5 million shots a day. Yet, given the uncertainty of Covid, the decision to hold a commencement ceremony has been carefully thought out to reduce a spike in cases. 

Kelly continued, “It’s hard to see people gathering at sporting events while professors we’re in classrooms with, almost every day, aren’t being allowed to watch us receive our diplomas especially when our families can’t be there either. It’s tough and it’s weird, but I guess it’s not the worst thing the pandemic has done.”