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Salem State University to Award Over 2,000 Degrees to the Class of 2020

As the university works to reschedule its 2020 commencement, a 15-minute conferral of degrees will be held Saturday, May 16.

Salem State University plans to award over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees to its Class of 2020. As the university works to reschedule this year’s commencement ceremonies, President John Keenan, Provost David Silva and Tiffany Gayle Chenault, Professor of Sociology and President of the Salem Chapter of the Massachusetts State College Association will hold a 15-minute virtual conferral of degrees on Saturday, May 16, which will include reading passages from their traditional commencement ceremonies that formalize students’ receipt of their degrees. The virtual conferral will not include a reading of students’ names, as this will be part of a future Class of 2020 commencement that is being rescheduled.

 “The class of 2020 has worked hard throughout their time at Salem State and shown tremendous resilience as this pandemic has upended this semester,” said Keenan. “While we plan for a future celebration, this virtual gathering will give graduates a moment to gather with their families and reflect on this incredible accomplishment. This is especially important as many of our students become first-generation college graduates.” 

The university arranged for students to pick up their caps and gowns this week before the virtual conferral of degrees, while keeping masks and social distancing guidelines in place. As the university works to reschedule this year’s commencement, celebratory videos and emails have been shared with students, and a student-organized drive-through parade is being held on campus this Saturday.

The more than 2,000 graduates in the Class of 2020 include about 1,600 undergraduates and nearly 600 graduates receiving master’s degrees or certificates. Graduates represent 32 countries and 23 states. This year, 279 students are becoming Double Vikings by receiving their second Salem State degree.

Graduates and families with questions should contact

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