On April 15, Eckerd College President Donald Eastman announced that seniors can attend a digital commencement on May 17 at 1 p.m. and an on-campus celebration on Dec. 12 at 10 a.m. Eastman also said how students will be refunded for spring semester’s room and board.
“Times like these require thoughtful reflection, adjustment and reimagination to emerge stronger and better equipped for the next crisis,” Eastman wrote in the email.
Students can collect refunds as direct deposits, credit towards the 2020 Fall semester or choose to give outstanding funds as tax-deductible donations to Eckerd, according to the email and attached document.
Eastman also wrote that the CARES Act granted Eckerd $780,972 in aid for students who were most impacted by the campus closure. He encouraged anyone who may be eligible to email email@example.com.
On Eckerd’s Commencement page of their website, Dean of Students James Annarelli wrote a letter to graduates and their families.
“In so many respects, the current pandemic crisis has changed our world, our lives and—for now—how we function as a college community. But in the continuing life of our college, among those things that remain constant is the importance of recognizing and honoring the achievements of our graduating students,” Annarelli said.
The Baccalaureate, a religious service that celebrates the graduating class, will be held on May 16 at 4 p.m. Eastman will also address the class of 2020 during this ceremony.
Herff Jones, the company that makes Eckerd’s caps, gowns and hoods, will send graduates their commencement attire for free. The commencement page says that members of the class of 2020 who fill out this form providing the company with their home address by April 17 should receive their items by May 11. Eckerd is delivering these items for free and is offering refunds for students who pre-ordered them, according to the form.
“We hope our graduates will wear their regalia proudly during our virtual event in May and again at our on-campus ceremony in December,” Eckerd’s Commencement page says.
Eastman’s email also noted that room draw, faculty mentoring and summer course registration will all continue remotely.