News - Goodbye and Hello In One Weekend for 2020 Seniors

Goodbye and Hello In One Weekend for 2020 Seniors

by Rachel Heston-Davis Goodbye and Hello In One Weekend for 2020 Seniors

On October 18, 2020, graduating seniors from GU’s Class of 2020 will gather for a weekend of strange juxtapositions. In just a few hours, they will celebrate both their departure from GU as graduates and their return to campus as alumni.

After postponing Commencement due to the threat of COVID-19, Greenville University announced a rescheduled Commencement date of Sunday, October 18, the last day of the University’s Homecoming celebrations.

The welcome news came April 27, as students neared the completion of a semester marked by abrupt changes and interrupted plans. Vice President for Academic Affairs Brian Hartley emailed the information to graduating students, affirming the importance of celebrating their accomplishments.

“We are incredibly proud of you and are determined to honor your hard work at Greenville University,” Hartley said. “We hope that you and many of your classmates can join us for this special day.” 

Recognizing Resilience Amidst Disappointment

Like many of their peers across the nation, GU students were asked to “soldier on” when the threat of COVID-19 closed campus, forced all learning online, and canceled extracurricular activities for the spring. News of Illinois’ shelter-in-place order broke as students traveled for spring break, robbing many friends and classmates of the chance to return to campus and say goodbye before summer. This hit especially hard for graduating seniors who won’t reconvene for classes in the fall.

“All GU students, and especially the Class of 2020, faced significant stress and disappointment this spring,” said Acting GU President Suzanne Davis. “I’m proud of the way they’ve handled these challenges. Our graduating students deserve special recognition for all they’ve overcome and given up during this crisis, and we can’t wait to honor them at Homecoming.”

Double the Party, Double the Fun

Homecoming promises a double dose of celebration as GU packs two sets of annual traditions into one energetic weekend. The University will conduct many of its usual Commencement festivities, culminating in the actual celebration on October 18. Homecoming activities will also carry on, including a parade, 5K race, football game, alumni dinner, and more.

One new item will appear on the weekend schedule. A special dedication service will name GU’s new sand volleyball court the Allyson Grabowski Memorial Court, in honor of GU volleyball player Allyson Grabowski who passed away in 2019 and would have graduated in 2020.

For more information on Commencement plans, contact [email protected]. For more information on Homecoming, contact [email protected].

This story was published on May 14, 2020

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