A Message from NYU President Andrew Hamilton

February 8, 2021

Dear Members of the Class of 2020,

I hope this message finds you well and safe wherever you may be in the world. In the months since your graduation from New York University last year, we have all seen our world change in ways that we could never have expected. However, one thing has not changed: the persistence of COVID-19. The ongoing spread of COVID in our local communities and the emergence of new variants, along with the slow rollout of the vaccine, mean that life in New York continues to be very much affected by the virus. Therefore, while we had hoped to reschedule your belated Commencement ceremony for this coming spring, we regret that we must postpone the Class of 2021’s in-person Commencement and your Commencement further still.

I want to assure you that we researched a range of scenarios - indoor and outdoor, with and without guests, a traditional ceremony or a modified one - and repeatedly ran into the obstacle that we simply cannot gather enough people to hold an in-person ceremony. With the current state of the pandemic, and its projected outlook into the spring, it is highly unlikely that restrictions on mass gatherings would be lifted in New York City to a level that Commencement would be feasible. Indeed, major city venues remain closed and will not open until well into the summer or fall. And ongoing travel restrictions limit the ability of our graduates and their guests to travel to New York for a ceremony.

We are disappointed that we are not yet able to recognize your achievements, in person, with all the pomp and circumstance that they deserve this coming May, but we still remain committed to celebrating your graduation and look forward to the day when we are able to be together to celebrate all you accomplished at NYU, even if we cannot say when just now.

In the meantime, please be sure to keep your contact information updated with the Office of Alumni Relations to ensure you receive our communications regarding the rescheduled ceremony.

Andrew Hamilton