February 22: Class of 2020 Message from the Presidents

Dear CSB and SJU Class of 2020 and families,

Commencement is always a bittersweet moment.  It marks the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of our graduates, which we celebrate.  It is also a parting after four years of living, learning, and growing together. We miss our students who graduated in 2020.

Last year, commencement was especially bittersweet because of the COVID-19 virus and the restrictions on assembling and gathering established by the State of Minnesota and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  We are proud of our 2020 seniors who persevered in the face of the pandemic and graduated.  We are disappointed that we could not gather as we traditionally had.

When we postponed the May 2020 commencement ceremonies, we hoped to identify a future date when we could gather in-person to celebrate the Class of 2020. This is still not possible.  We are writing to share with you the highlights of our plans for commencement for the Class of 2020, which include:

  • A modified, COVID-compliant Baccalaureate Mass which will be streamed for all to attend virtually (more information to come).
  • A Class of 2020 Commencement video to include all of the major elements -- music, a blessing from the Prioress or Abbot, and remarks by the President and other speakers.  
  • The 2020 graduates who have already received their diplomas will be invited to submit materials to be compiled into the Class of 2020 Commencement video.

The Commencement 2020 videos will be shared with 2020 graduates and their families and will be available for viewing on the CSB/SJU website once it is complete. This will allow graduates and families, if they wish, to plan a celebration at a time that works best for you. More details will be shared in the coming weeks. Please watch for emails from CSB and SJU.

Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s also invite all 2020 graduates to save the date of Saturday, September 11, 2021 (please note date change). CSB and SJU will host on our campuses all 2020 grads for a special celebration to reconnect with your classmates and to welcome you to the alumnae and alumni associations. Details will be announced in the coming months -- for now, please save the date.

We know that Commencement is an important highlight in the lives of our students and their family members. We deeply value the opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our Class of 2020.


Laurie Hamen, J.D.

Interim President

College of Saint Benedict

Eugene McAllister, Ph.D.

Interim President

Saint John’s University