Dear Unity College Community,

I am in the final stages of sending personalized emails to our graduating seniors about the College’s plan on how we are adjusting our annual May and December Commencement Ceremonies.

Given the developments in on-going COVID-19 pandemic in Maine and across the nation during the past week, the May Commencement ceremony as we had initially planned is no longer feasible. As you can imagine, this was not an easy decision, as we have watched our graduates grow as learners, pre-professionals, and citizens over these years. We all wanted to celebrate their successes on May 9.

Watching the families of our Flagship graduates come back to campus and share their experiences over the years as they interacted with us; and meeting many of our Distance Education Students for the first time is a hallmark of commencement and reaffirms our commitment to the mission and what we do. More so, the idea that commencement might not happen this year was just not acceptable.

“I don’t know what your future is, but if you’re willing to take the harder way, the more complicated one, the one with more failures at first than successes . . . then you will not regret it.” C. Boseman. After all, this is Unity College, and while many see nothing but barriers, we trailblaze a path forward with a new set of events to celebrate our most valuable outcome – our alumni!

Many thanks to our Director of Marketing Alecia Sudmeyer and the task force that supported her to come up with these plans to adjust to our current constraints.

May 8 – FLAGSHIP Virtual Awards Recognition on Unity.edu

On May 8, Dr. Erika Latty, Zach Falcon, and I will host a Virtual Awards Recognition where we will honor Flagship graduates who have excelled in a number of categories that encompass academics, athletics, and overall student success. As we have in the past, a faculty or staff member will discuss the criteria for the award and speak about each recipient’s achievements as a student at Unity College.

May 9 – College-Wide Virtual Recognition on Unity.edu

While we will not be celebrating in-person on May 9 at 90 Quaker Hill Road, we will host a Virtual Recognition at 11 a.m. on May 9 to honor you. We will send your regalia and diploma covers prior to this virtual celebration and encourage you to take a photo of yourself in your regalia and proudly displaying your diploma cover. Send your photos to us so we may include them in this virtual observance of your achievements. You, your family, and friends can watch this event and communicate with each other and us throughout the ceremony.

August 1 – College-Wide Commencement at Unity College

Then on August 1, barring any unforeseen developments with COVID-19, we will host an in-person commencement here at 90 Quaker Hill Road similar to our traditional May Commencement for any graduate who can attend. This event will also include the Awards Ceremony and will be streamed live, as we always do for our commencement ceremonies. If there are any changes to this date, we will notify you all by June 15.

December 18 – College-Wide December Graduation at Unity College

As a third option, for those unable to attend the August 1 Commencement, we invite any 2020 graduate who would like to march at December Graduation to join us on December 18 at the Unity College Flagship for a celebration.

While most colleges and students will make lemonade when handed lemons, I know that you are different. When life hands you lemons, you go foraging to see what else you can find, to create something truly spectacular. That’s what I plan on doing, and I hope you all join me.

In Unity,

Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
President, Unity College

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