Dear Class of 2020,
Earlier this week, I sent out a brief “save the date” email asking you to make plans if you are able to return to Chapel Hill for a special class of 2020 reunion and commencement weekend October 9-10. Based on last year’s class survey and feedback from our commencement planning committee, we heard you: the majority of survey respondents didn’t want a 2020 commencement experience to be packaged with the Class of 2021 commencement. And, with state and national COVID-19 trends continuing to improve, offering a much brighter forecast for fall, we believe we can provide a special and unprecedented weekend for more of our 2020 graduates and their families in October. Let me be clear — our plans will include a tassel-turning ceremony for you and your guests.
Those same positive COVID-19 trends allowed us to commit to a greatly scaled-down, but in-person commencement for the Class of 2021, which we announced yesterday. I can understand how that news — contrasted with our plans for a different commencement weekend for your class later in the fall — could be upsetting to those who have waited patiently for us to find a way to recognize your hard work and celebrate your achievements with an in-person event.
Once again, we have heard you. And we promise that your weekend this fall – a historic first on our campus – will be worth the long wait you have endured for one more special Carolina experience with your classmates, families and loved ones. As a parent of a member of your Class of 2020, I understand the desire your families have for a special moment to celebrate the accomplishments of their graduate.
We continue to believe October offers us the opportunity to host a reunion and commencement weekend around one of your favorite Carolina pastimes: A Tar Heel football weekend and (we hope) some crisp autumn weather unlike any other commencement in our history.
This isn’t Carolina’s Homecoming Weekend for multiple classes. This is an unprecedented reunion and commencement weekend just for May, August and December 2020 graduates. Hosting this event in the fall, assuming current gathering restrictions are lifted, will allow us to offer exclusive opportunities for your class which include:
- Special recognition throughout the Carolina Football game (versus Florida State) – this game will be dedicated to your class;
- Carolina Football watch party experience (limited number of game tickets will be made available);
- Traditional Bell Tower Climb;
- Special “Taste of Chapel Hill” food truck dine-around;
- UNC General Alumni Association’s traditional Champagne Toast;
- And, on Sunday, Oct. 10, Carolina will welcome our Class of 2020 into Kenan Stadium for a tassel-turning ceremony like no-other.
This celebration weekend will be memorable and fitting of your special status and the sacrifices you made during your senior year…and beyond.
We will have more information coming to you including a special — updated — Class of 2020 website with information on how you can notify us of your intentions so that we can plan accordingly for this special weekend created for you.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz