Commencement 2020

Another Commencement, come and gone. This one, clearly, was different than the usual affair, but may prove to be one of the more memorable in recent memory. I’ll take the opportunity here to vicariously toot the horns of all those involved in pulling this event off, as they’re too modest to ever do so themselves. I was immediately struck by the professionalism of the virtual ceremony, and the obvious huge amounts of work involved in bringing it to life. Seamless transitions, all involved ready to hit their marks, and real-time captioning made it the best possible version of itself.

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Commencement approaches

This Sunday brings one of the major events of the academic year. Like pretty much everything else in our viral times, this year’s Commencement will unfold entirely online. While it will certainly be unusual, it’s shaping up to be a no-less-special close to the academic year. While it’s true that this year’s ceremonies will feature no tent, no in-person champagne toast, and sadly no opportunity to shake hands with our favorite students as they end their time at Fletcher, there will also be no worries about the weather (Fletcher field gets pretty squishy in the rain in spite of the tent) and no parking difficulties.

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Commencement!

And just like that, members of the Fletcher Class of 2019 are officially alumni! It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were busy convoking the academic year, and here we are already recapping the season’s most anticipated finale outside of Westeros. On the weather side of things, there’s mixed news to report. For Saturday’s Class Day festivities, we lucked into probably the nicest day we’ve had all spring. Sunny, warm, and just generally the kind of day that makes you want to hang around outside. For Commencement itself on Sunday, less so. While the big tent provides good protection from the vicissitudes of the sky, the ground makes itself felt in a downpour, too, and there are likely a few muddy pairs of Maglis and Manolos due for a cleaning this week.

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The Tufts campus readies for commencement

Commencement activities will take place at Tufts this weekend, and they’re on the radar either directly or indirectly for virtually all administrative corners of Fletcher. But even an out-of-the-loop, first-time visitor to Tufts this week would be able to tell that something’s afoot, with all the visible prep and last-minute campus beautification going on. To be fair, the window of decent weather in which to work prior to graduation is pretty small in this part of the country, and the several weeks of chill, rain, and gloom we’ve recently endured here hasn’t helped matters, but there’s nonetheless still something of a madcap quality to all the buzzing about and cosmetic improvements happening at the moment.

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A December farewell to our departing Januarians

A few months back I wrote about our January enrollment period, and some of the distinct features of starting your Fletcher experience in the spring semester instead of the more typical fall enrollment. The unspoken but fairly obvious addendum to all my chatter about the excitement of welcoming a new class of Januarians is that we’re also forced to say goodbye to a departing class each December, too. Last Friday saw the annual Januarian Farewell Ceremony, which has most of the trappings of a typical graduation without actually being one. Our departing Januarians still have finals to get through, after all, and their degrees will be officially conferred in February. At the risk of jinxing them, we like to hold this closing ceremony to acknowledge their contributions to the community, as most students (Januarians and otherwise) will scatter around the world after finals for a well-deserved break.

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