Hooding and Commencement updates

Sarah-Jane Leslie, Dean

Class of 1943 Professor of Philosophy

April 16, 2020

Dear Prospective Degree Candidates,

I hope this message finds you and yours safe and well. It seems that every day presents difficult adjustments and sacrifices we must make in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, one of those difficult sacrifices is that Hooding and Commencement will be held virtually this year.

We are still in the process of confirming the June Ph.D. and master’s degree lists. I am sending this message to graduate students who are either confirmed or potential degree candidates so that you and your families and friends may begin planning to attend the virtual ceremonies as described below. If you are a currently enrolled Ph.D. student and will not defend your dissertation this spring, please disregard the message.

While we cannot gather on-campus to mark this momentous occasion as we all would have hoped, I want you to know that we are making every effort to plan the virtual Commencement and Hooding Ceremonies in ways that will honor and joyously celebrate this milestone achievement in your lives along with your families, your advisers and all who supported you along the way.

You are also invited to return to campus and be hooded in person at next year’s Hooding Ceremony. All graduate students who complete their degrees this year are most welcome to participate in next year’s Hooding Ceremony whether or not they participate in the virtual ceremony this year. As always, Ph.D. recipients will be able to be hooded by a chosen faculty member next year. While we appreciate that this is not the same as being able to participate in an in-person ceremony this year, we are very glad to be able to offer all graduate students the opportunity to be personally recognized for their accomplishments at the ceremony next year.

More details about these events are given below, and we will follow up with more information as it becomes available.

Virtual Hooding: Friday, May 29, 2020

The Graduate School is planning a virtual hooding ceremony for all graduate students earning their degrees this year. The ceremony is planned for Friday, May 29 at 4 pm. Registration details will follow soon.

Virtual Commencement: Sunday, May 31, 2020

As President Eisgruber announced yesterday, the University plans to officially and enthusiastically confer your degrees on Sunday, May 31, 2020 in a short, virtual ceremony. Again, we understand that a virtual ceremony is no substitute for the in-person ceremony you earned and deserve but we hope you and your families will participate in this virtual ceremony. More information will follow soon.

In-Person Hooding 2021

We ask that you and your loved ones save the date for the in-person Hooding Ceremony on May 24, 2021. This ceremony will be held jointly for all 2020 and 2021 master’s and PhD degree recipients. Additional details will be provided at a later date.

Again, I remain grateful for your understanding of the unprecedented circumstances and challenges that prevent us from being physically together to mark this significant and marvelous accomplishment. I am deeply inspired by your continued fortitude and grace – and for all of the ways that you contribute to the Princeton community, to the nation, and indeed, to all humanity. Please know how deeply proud I am of all of you and how much the staff at the Graduate School and I look forward to celebrating with you – both virtually now, and again in-person next year.

Wishing you safety, health and resilience,

Sarah-Jane Leslie
Dean of the Graduate School