Head of School Sam Houser shared the following message with George School students and their parents:
As has been abundantly proven over recent weeks, no one has a perfect gift for predicting the future. Yet I do have a hunch about something—or certainly a hope. Years from now, you will look back on this spring with some measure of awe because you made it through while staying connected, while continuing your academic progress, and while remaining true to the extraordinary people you are. As the Class of 2020, you embody a hard-won knowledge of what it means to encounter a sudden yet prolonged loss, while holding tight to hope. Indeed, you have been at the center of the school’s care and attention over the past few weeks.
To that end, as I announced earlier this week, I have received the recommendation of the faculty, staff, and students who make up the 2020 Commencement task force to proceed with a virtual commencement ceremony on May 24. Some details are still being determined and we will be in touch with you as soon as we have more information to share.
At this point I do know that the ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. with our traditional music, Appalachian Spring. I will deliver the commencement address, followed by a student invocation. The names of each graduate will be called, and, technology permitting, we hope to have each student join the ceremonies live when named. Throughout there will be student performances. At the end of the ceremony, I will address you as George School alumni, an honor you so richly deserve.
Expect your diplomas to arrive the week of May 18. Your envelopes will be marked “Do Not Open Until May 24.” The students on the task force, and the input that was shared by other students with your class sponsors, helped us understand that it would feel more special to see your diplomas for the first time during the ceremony. Their feedback also helped us understand that it felt important to keep the original commencement date to encourage a customary sense of closure in this time of adjusted rituals. I am deeply grateful to the committee and to everyone who contributed.
Please also note that holding a virtual commencement on May 24 in no way precludes an in-person gathering at a future time when health and safety protocols allow. When dates are established, we will share the information with you.
Friends, while no one can predict the future, I do feel quite confident in saying that your families love you, your friends love you, and your school loves you. Your George School achievements are important, and with lightness, seriousness, music, and truth, we will ensure that you feel honored and loved on May 24.
Head of School