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Aquinas College to hold in-person commencement ceremonies for 2020 and 2021 graduates

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Aquinas College will celebrate the achievements of both the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 at separate in-person ceremonies the weekend of May 8-9 on campus, while following health and safety protocols to ensure as safe an event as possible.

The Class of 2021 will be recognized with an in-person ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 8, and the Class of 2020 will be recognized with an in-person ceremony at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 9. Both ceremonies will take place at Alksnis Athletics and Recreation Building and will follow state and health department guidelines such as social distancing, mask wearing, health monitoring, etc.

“Throughout the pandemic our community has come together to adjust and adapt our plans to prioritize the health and safety of our community, and the same is true for commencement,” said President Kevin Quinn. “We have remained committed to honoring the achievements of our graduates -- both the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 -- in person, on the campus that they have called home.”

This year, graduates’ guests will not attend in person. Livestreams of both events will be available for friends, family and Aquinas College community members on the College’s Facebook page.

Paul Bee, Aquinas College alumnus and vice president of ticket sales and service for the Milwaukee Bucks, was previously announced as the Class of 2020 commencement speaker. He will now deliver the commencement address at both ceremonies. Matt Wey, Aquinas College trustee emeritus and managing director for Marsh and McLennan Companies, will receive an honorary degree.

Additionally, all graduates may participate in the traditional Baccalaureate Mass at 10 a.m. on May 8 at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Grand Rapids. Graduates’ guests will not attend in person. A livestream of the event will be available on the Diocese of Grand Rapids Facebook page for friends, family and the College community. Strict health and safety protocols will be followed.

Aquinas College will continue to monitor the pandemic, and commencement activities are subject to change. The College will continue to work to ensure that activities are conducted in line with health department guidance and will make adjustments as necessary. 

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