"After reviewing the survey response, we have decided to hold Commencement Ceremonies
for Spring 2020 graduates in conjunction with Alumni and Family Weekend on October
16 to 18. We look forward to celebrating our graduates, alumni and families together
as a community dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom, of truth, and of virtue as the
proper and primary ends of education."
- Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA ’82 MA ’83
On Alumni & Family Weekend (AFW), Oct. 16-18, 2020, we welcome all alumni and families to join us as UD celebrates 50 years of the Rome Program. The weekend’s events will include panel discussions with distinguished faculty, an evening of wine tasting, meetups with past and present Irving and Rome faculty, and more! This year, AFW will also incorporate the celebration of our 2020 spring semester graduates. Stay tuned for more details regarding this momentous milestone in our university’s history.
Parents of current students, this weekend is for you, too! Parents and families are welcome to attend all these events. Alumni who graduated in class years ending in a 0 or 5, celebrate your class reunions on campus that Saturday. Golden Crusaders, you will also have a special celebration of your own to commemorate 50(+) years since graduation. Please join us as a class reunion representative, or find out more details by reaching out to Jocelyn George at email@example.com.
I hope all is well with you and yours as we approach the end of the semester. I wanted to address a few matters connected to graduation and commencement.
First, as you know from announcements made by President Hibbs, we are postponing commencement until the weekend of October 16 through 18. Commencement itself will take place on the morning of Sunday, October 18. This decision was made after surveying May graduates about preferred timing, and there was a strong majority in favor of that weekend over the end of the Fall semester. It is a fitting weekend for many reasons, including the presence of many families and alumni already planning to be on campus for Alumni and Family Weekend. We look forward to celebrating our graduates, alumni and families together as a community dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom, of truth, and of virtue as the proper and primary ends of education.
Second, I want to emphasize that there is an important distinction to be drawn between graduation and commencement. May graduates will still be graduating in May, and degrees will be conferred at that time. We will be processing diplomas so that our May graduates can move on to the next steps in their lives and careers. May graduates will have their diplomas mailed to them. The October Commencement, on the other hand, will be an opportunity for our May and August graduates to gather and to celebrate together their achievements, even though degrees will have been conferred and diplomas will have been received. We will have the baccalaureate mass during the October celebrations, and our Commencement Speaker, Dr. Robert George of Princeton University, will also be joining us at that time.
Third, there will be a number of virtual opportunities to mark the achievements of our May graduates during May. We will be announcing awards for graduates, posting speeches by the president, the provost, the valedictorian, and the faculty speaker elected by the student body. We will also be sharing graduating student plans, which are typically shared at the Honors Convocation, in document form. Finally, some departments, the business college, and the school of ministry, will be holding virtual opportunities for graduating students and their families to gather.
We thought it important both to mark the actual May date of graduation with these virtual opportunities, as well as to provide an opportunity for us to be physically present to each other in October.
I hope this note finds you and your family safe, healthy and well. As you can imagine, we are continuing to adjust to a “new normal” on campus during these unprecedented times. Our outstanding faculty and resilient students are working to adapt our unique curriculum to a virtual setting while faculty, staff, alumni and friends have come together to support each other and ensure we serve our students in need through our COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Now more than ever, my wife, Stacey, and I feel very blessed to be part of a community that is deeply committed to our students' success and to this university that we love.
In this spirit, I wanted to take this moment to thank you for your commitment to the university by including UD in your estate plans. Your foresight will help further the university’s mission and enable future generations of UD students to pursue wisdom, truth and virtue as the proper and primary ends of their education. A legacy gift, made across generations, is a profoundly meaningful act of trust in UD, one that expresses charity, love and care in a selfless way. On behalf of the lives your special act of generosity will touch, I thank you.
It is also important to me that the university’s permanent records properly reflect your intended impact. To that end, I have asked Kris Muñoz Vetter, Assistant Vice President for Development, and her team to follow up with you to ensure that we properly record and acknowledge your gift in accordance with your wishes.
Your planned support further qualifies you for membership in the University of Dallas’ Legacy Society. It would be my great pleasure to have the opportunity to thank you for your commitment personally and invite you to save the date to join us on campus for a special Legacy Society reception during our Alumni & Family Weekend on October 16-18, 2020. Further special event details will follow in a separate invitation that you will receive later this summer.
In the meantime, please accept my thanks on behalf of our students and faculty, who are the true beneficiaries of your planned support, and know that you and your family remain in our thoughts and prayers during this uncertain time.
Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA ’82 MA ’83
Let’s do a quick recap of the eventful weekend…
On Friday afternoon, through the generous support of our professors, we were able to rekindle our love for the Core through open classes; open up our minds to varying opinions on the upcoming election through the American Public Philosophy Institute (APPI) Seminar; and spend time with professors during the Alumni/Professor Cap Bar Reunion. We then celebrated our Golden Crusaders during the evening, starting with a 5 p.m. Mass followed by a special dinner for the golden Class of 1969 (and all of their predecessors), as well as the Welcome Dinner on the Mall for all attendees. Our busy day closed with studios, demos, a Due Santi wine tasting, and Music on the Mall.
Day two was equally packed with a schedule that included EnCore lectures, the cross-country 5K, exhibits with old yearbooks from the Archives, an informational session on UD’s upcoming Russia trip, and a session on stories of and by UD legends led by Professors Emeriti of Drama Pat and Judy Kelly. The afternoon continued with the alumni vs. student rugby game, the Student Career Networking Ice Cream Social with Alumni, a Mass celebrating married couples, and, finally, our class reunions!
We hope you enjoyed your time on campus reliving old memories and making new ones! We look forward to seeing you again during our next Alumni and Family Weekend (October 16-18, 2020).
Love Ye UD!