March 27, 2020
Dear Pitzer Students,
I know you have been adjusting to your new surroundings as we prepare for the resumption of classes on Monday. Your faculty have been working extremely hard to transition their work to the virtual environment during these last two weeks. That hard work has been inspiring and I am so proud of our entire community for making the best of this unprecedented circumstance. I hope that this extended spring break has given you the time not only to adjust to this new environment but to recharge and refocus on the challenges that are before us.
Regrettably, I also write to inform you that we will be postponing our regular spring commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020. In light of the need for social distancing and the risks associated with large gatherings like commencement, postponement is a necessary preventative action.
Please understand that this is a postponement, not a cancellation. We intend to hold an in-person ceremony as early as this coming fall semester if the conditions allow for a safe gathering on campus. We will announce a date and time to give our graduating seniors and their families adequate time to make arrangements to return to campus for the ceremony if at all possible.
To the Class of 2020, I know this is incredibly disheartening news on top of the disruption to your studies, separation from your friends and the pressure of adjusting to a new learning environment. I hope you can find some solace in the fact that the sacrifices you are making have a significant and positive impact on the health of your family, friends and members of your community. I am proud of the maturity and spirit of cooperation that you are showing. I know that you will persevere and I look forward to the day when we can gather together to celebrate the transition of your Pitzer journey and the beginning of the next stages of your remarkable lives.
To all of our students, I thank you again. I hope that you and your families are well and healthy and I encourage you to be steadfast in following the recommended public health protocols during these difficult times. The final eight weeks of our semester will be much different than the Pitzer education we all hoped you would enjoy, but you will have the same classmates around you, the same faculty leading your studies and the same supportive staff beside you as we move forward. I wish you all the best and look forward to what lies ahead.
Melvin L. Oliver