Email to December 2020 Graduates Regarding Graduation

The following message was recently sent out to our December 2020 Graduates regarding commencement updates:

December 2020 Graduates,

You have encountered historic challenges this past year, from a complete campus shutdown, the abrupt disruption of athletic seasons, masks, social distancing, the delay of returning to this place we all love, a new academic schedule, and many personal interruptions, but through it all, you have stayed strong and persevered. You are nearly to the finish line!

We hoped and planned that the conditions in North Carolina would begin to return to normal by December of 2020. We had hoped we would be able to have our graduation ceremony, the opportunity for you and your family and guests to publicly celebrate your accomplishments. The reality is, we are still operating under very restrictive state governmental orders prohibiting large gatherings in indoor and outdoor settings, and, unfortunately, the weather in December will not be as conducive to an outdoor ceremony like the one we just had for our May graduates.  We are taking government recommendations seriously, including encouraging our students to avoid travel risks. Your safety, your family’s safety, and the safety of those who work at the university must be our top priority.

So today, with heavy hearts, we are announcing that the Mars Hill University December 2020 graduation ceremony will move to join together with our spring graduates in the May 2021 graduation ceremony, currently scheduled for May 15, 2021. We hope and pray that our state and country will begin to see an end to this pandemic by that time and we will be allowed to hold this milestone event for you. We will continue to carefully watch government restrictions, health trends in our area, and will seek to make it a great celebration for you as you deserve.

Your degree will still be conferred, or made official, as of December 18, 2020. You may request to receive your diploma and transcript in the mail if you won’t be able to return for the ceremony or if you need it earlier for jobs, graduate studies or other reasons.

I want to thank you for being a Lion. I am so sorry that your senior year has been disrupted and that you have not been able to live without worry and frustration over the pandemic.  You will always be a special class of graduates to me and to Terry as we continue our journey at Mars Hill University.  I wish you the best of luck during the final days of the semester.  Please stay safe, protect yourself, each other, and your families as we all continue to pull together to weather these times.

Tony Floyd, J.D.
Mars Hill University