Suffolk commencement to be held in person next May

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Suffolk University’s 2015 commencement.

Commencement for the Suffolk University Class of 2020 will be held at in-person ceremonies next May, the second time the university has had to push back commencement this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ceremonies will be held on Sunday, May 23, 2021, at the Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion in Boston, Suffolk University President Marisa Kelly said in a statement Monday. The university announced in March that it tentatively planned to hold an in-person commencement this August.

Kelly said she is “guardedly confident” that public health conditions in May 2021 will allow for students to come together.

“While some universities were shifting to virtual graduations, I have felt that this moment is so important to you, your loved ones, and to this University community that we need to come together and celebrate in person, if at all possible,” Kelly said, adding that officials tried to pick a date that will allow “as many graduates and their families as possible to attend.”

A ceremony for the Sawyer Business School at will commence at 9 a.m. that day, with a ceremony for the College of Arts & Sciences following at 1:30 p.m., Kelly said. The Law School’s commencement will be held at 5:30 p.m., and commencement for the Class of 2021 will be held the day after.

Members of the Class of 2020 who completed their degree programs were officially graduates of Suffolk as of Sunday, and diplomas are being mailed, Kelly said. But when the new graduates are finally able to attend their commencement, Kelly said it will be a “unique celebration.”

“Your achievements would be impressive under normal circumstances,” Kelly said. “But those accomplishments are all the more remarkable in the face of a pandemic that has caused both tragedy, distress, and dramatic changes in the way you have had to live and learn.”

“For all that you have accomplished in the face of extreme adversity, we are very proud of you,” Kelly said.