Commencement 2020 Message

Dear Class of 2020,

As we all manage the many challenges of the current global pandemic, we recognize that this week represents a momentous transition for you. Commencement Day marks the culmination of our academic journey together—a moment to celebrate your remarkable successes and look ahead to the promise of the future.

We know how much Commencement means to you and your families and friends, and the same holds true for Northeastern. We, too, are heart-broken at missing the opportunity to celebrate in person.

And although we’ve been prohibited from gathering in person at this time, it’s important for all of us to recognize your extraordinary achievements and the immense resiliency you’ve shown during the past few weeks.

During your time here at Northeastern, you’ve earned academic awards and distinctions; created world-changing new knowledge and innovations; traveled to far corners of the world for co-ops in business, research, government, and service; triumphed on athletic fields, rinks, and courts; and formed a truly global community of classmates, research colleagues, faculty mentors, and professional connections who will continue to support you far into your future.

You have done all of this at a university that challenges you to expand your perspective and impact in unique ways—by integrating what you learn in the classroom and the lab with what you do in the world.

As a way to help recognize these achievements and bring us together this week—and in lieu of a university virtual ceremony—the deans have adapted our college-based graduation celebrations. They will be sharing messages of congratulations, encouragement, and pride, as well as honoring the many accomplishments of you and your classmates. You can find the schedule of these virtual recognition activities here.

In addition, please note that your diplomas will be mailed to you after degrees are conferred in May, June, and August. We ask that you allow four to six weeks to receive them given potential slowed shipment times due to the pandemic. New information and updates will be posted on the Commencement website as they become available.

Class of 2020, please know how proud we are of you. Commencement always marks a season of new beginnings and hope—this year, more than ever. And remember that wherever you are in the world, Northeastern will always be your home.


James C. Bean

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs