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Commencement Week Activities

Dear Graduating Students:

Congratulations! Earning your degree from Salem State University is an achievement to applaud!* While the pandemic has postponed our traditional commencement ceremonies, we continue to explore when it may be safe to gather again as a campus community to celebrate the Class of 2020. Until that time is chosen, we are mindful of the importance of honoring your achievements as you complete your last classes and assignments. There are several efforts underway to recognize and celebrate your successes safely and remotely. I encourage you to participate in these opportunities.

  • Caps and gowns will be available on campus for students to pick up on Friday, May 8 – Saturday, May 9 from noon – 6 pm; on Monday, May 11 – Friday, May 15 from noon – 6 pm; and on Saturday, May 16 from 9 am – 2 pm. You’ll need to show your student ID to get your regalia. 

    For everyone’s safety, please wear a mask and allow six feet between others in line. As we are expecting many people to participate, also for safety reasons, you are asked to promptly leave campus after retrieving your regalia.

    If you wish to pick up your cap and gown on campus, please park in the lots between Loring Avenue and Canal Street, near Central Campus. Please enter the Central Campus Classroom Building from the Loring Avenue side. The Central Campus Classroom Building is where the Bertolon School of Business is located. Once inside the building and on the first floor, follow the signs and markings on the floor to maintain social distancing. Proceed down the left side of the hallway to the Central Campus main lobby, where you can pick up your cap and gown.

    Unfortunately, due to the variety of sizes, it is not practical to mail out caps and gowns. Email if you are unable to pick up your regalia to arrange for delivery. Please note that stoles and cords are not available at this time. These items will be distributed prior to the in-person commencement ceremony. And, if you choose not to pick up your regalia during the next several days, we’ll keep it for you until the in-person ceremony is scheduled.

    If you wish to have another student, friend or family member pick up your cap and gown on your behalf, please email from your Salem State email prior to their arrival to grant your permission and to let us know who will be picking up your regalia. Your designee will also need to know your major(s) and what size gown would be appropriate.
  • Commencement addresses: students are encouraged to view the digital commencement address delivered by Oprah Winfrey on Friday, May 15 at 2 pm on Facebook. On June 6 at 3 pm, President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver commencement addresses on YouTube.
  • Drive-By Celebration: students are organizing their own Drive-by Commencement Celebration on Saturday, May 16 at 10 am starting and ending at the O’Keefe Complex. Graduating students are invited to decorate their vehicles and meet at the O’Keefe Complex parking lot to join the celebration. Please note that students will not be allowed to leave their cars during this celebration and must follow traffic signals.
  • Degree Conferral Ceremony: President Keenan and Provost Silva will lead a brief online ceremony to confer your degrees upon you as graduating students at 12 pm on Saturday, May 16. Students, families, and friends will be able to access this ceremony and instructions will be emailed to your Salem State email account prior to the event.
  • Share on social: Celebrating at home? Use #SalemState20 to celebrate your accomplishments and earning your Salem State degree!
  • Welcome new alumni: Congratulations, as you graduate you’re joining a network of over 64,000 alumni! Welcome to the Salem State Alumni Association. You can find out about benefits available to you as a member at

Congratulations to the Salem State Class of 2020! We applaud your success and commend your efforts! Stay vigilant and stay safe through this difficult period. We look forward to celebrating your achievements again on campus.


John Keenan

* Congratulations on your achievements at Salem State University. This notification is not a confirmation of your eligibility for graduation. Confirmation of your graduation eligibility will come from the registrar’s office. An email confirmation is sent to all students who are eligible for graduation. All others will receive a graduation-related To Do List posted in their Navigator account listing any remaining degree requirements that you must register to complete. Please email with any questions or concerns regarding your graduation eligibility status.

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