Greetings from Concordia University, St. Paul where we celebrate that “in Christ, we are a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
It is with great sadness that Concordia University, St. Paul has regrettably made the very difficult decision not to hold the previously scheduled May 2020 commencement ceremonies. I am heartbroken that we must do this. As I have talked to dozens of faculty and staff since arriving at CSP, I’ve been told again and again that commencement is the most inspiring event they have experienced during their service here. I was looking forward to congratulating you, and with the entire CSP community, celebrating your accomplishments.
Commencement is an important milestone in one’s educational journey, a time of pride and joy, where families, friends and the entire University community celebrates and recognizes publicly the remarkable achievements of you, our graduates. We are truly sorry we cannot proceed as we had hoped, however, the health and well-being of you, your family and friends was paramount in our decision.
As you are well aware, things have changed rapidly during the past few days and are likely to continue to do so. Many of you have dealt with an abrupt end to your academic and co-curricular experience. For that, we apologize and hurt with you. We appreciate how difficult, confusing and life-altering this has been and will continue to be. We must follow federal guidelines that now limit public gatherings to no more than 10 people for the next three months in order to do all we can to support the common good of our community and nation. We do not want to jeopardize the health of anyone.
We are currently working on alternative options for graduates to participate in future commencement ceremonies if they choose to do so, and I pray you will. As plans are made and details put in place, we will communicate with you. In the meantime, please know that you are in my prayers. May these words from God’s Word bless you today: “Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NLT).
Rev. Dr. Brian L. Friedrich