July 10, 2020
Dear Spring and Summer Graduates:
Thank you for your patience in all you have experienced these past months as the Covid-19 pandemic has deeply affected the lives of everyone. We marked the graduation date of our Spring graduates on May 2 with an online celebration, with the hope that an in-person ceremony would be possible at a later date. We have noted on the summer quarter academic calendar, Saturday, August 1, as a tentative date on which we could have a ceremony for the Summer graduation class.
Since May, we have seen a gradual re-opening of the state followed by an alarming, and continuing, spike in the number of Covid-19 cases, with this week seeing record numbers in the spread of the contagion across the nation, state, McLennan County and Waco.
We want to remain true to our promise of an in-person graduating ceremony for each class, albeit we must do so while being mindful of the health and safety issues affecting not only you, but also the network of family, friends and others with whom you have had contact, or will have contact going forward.
Accordingly, we have developed a plan to go forward with ceremonies on August 1 in Waco Hall at 10:00 a.m. for the Summer class and at 2:00 p.m for the Spring class on campus in Waco Hall. We will be observing some strict protocols, and importantly, limiting the ceremony to graduates only, along with the faculty and staff. For your families and friends, the ceremony will be livestreamed here.
For the Summer class ceremony at 10:00 a.m., Prof. Counseller will be the speaker and the hooders will be Prof. Powell and Prof. Underwood (hooding will be performed in accordance to a safe distancing protocol). For the Spring class ceremony at 2:00 p.m., Prof. Fraley will be the speaker and the hooders will be Prof. Powell and Prof. Wren.
I am acutely aware that this is not an ideal situation. We are offering these modified in-person ceremonies to provide the opportunity for you to celebrate this important milestone with your classmates. Delaying until we can hold a full, traditional in-person graduation ceremony beyond the Covid-19 pandemic doesn’t appear feasible given that the pandemic could well continue for an indeterminate time. Also, you may participate in this ceremony and you may join a traditional ceremony when we can once again hold such graduations post-Covid-19.
Thank you for your understanding. I so wish that we could have traditional ceremonies, but the safety and health of all is paramount. We are in an interlude in which so much of what is normal has been lost for the time being, but please know, as always, how proud we are of you as you have shown such patience and resilience as future Baylor Lawyers.
All the best,
Bradley J.B. Toben
Dean and M.C. & Mattie Caston Professor of Law
Baylor University School of Law