The end of last week marked an annual Fletcher tradition, different this year as with everything. “Januarians,” those students who begin their time at Fletcher in the spring semester, have a commencement ceremony each December. The group is also invited to the larger commencement ceremonies each spring, but the members of this cohort of students have a unique identity and bond with each other, and it’s nice to set aside some time each year to celebrate them on their own. (Their degrees are technically conferred in February each year, but their studies effectively conclude at the end of each fall semester). While not what anyone would prefer, the Fletcher community has gotten pretty good at pulling off celebratory events in a remote format, and this event was no different. In addition to remarks by several graduating students, Dean Kyte, and Professor Sulmaan Khan, the ceremony featured alumni keynote speakers Larry Struve (F’65) and Farah Pandith (F’95).
In higher ed, at least, every ending also means a new beginning, and at this time of year there’s a lot of preparation for the arrival of our new class of Januarians. This is true in any year, but have I mentioned that things this year are a bit different? Both because Fletcher will move to a hybrid instruction format in the spring and because the incoming class will be considerably larger than normal, work has been underway for quite a while now to welcome this new group of Januarians in just a bit under a month. Logistics are certainly a touch more complicated this year than usual, but some added complexity can’t lessen the excitement for all of us about the impending arrival of the newest members of the Fletcher community.
So congratulations, farewell, and best of luck to all our new graduates! And to our incoming students, we’ll see you at Fletcher soon!