February 22: Commencement 2021 Message from the Presidents

Dear CSB and SJU Class of 2021, 

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 will miss our graduating students.

This year, like last year, commencement is 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 seniors for persevering toward their goals in the face of the pandemic.  We are disappointed that we cannot gather as we traditionally do.

CSB/SJU staff across the campuses are planning for commencement in May 2021, knowing that it is an important milestone in the lives of our students and their family members. We deeply value the opportunity to celebrate the remarkable achievements of all those who have fulfilled the requirements for their degrees and are preparing to graduate.

We are writing to share with you the highlights of our plans for commencement for the Class of 2021, which include:

  • A modified, COVID-compliant Baccalaureate Mass for the graduating class (more details to come).
  • A series of in-person, small-group graduation processions, recorded, with each graduate walking across the stage/altar to receive their diploma from their president.
  • A Class of 2021 Commencement video to include all of the major elements -- music, a blessing from the Prioress or Abbot, remarks by the President and other speakers, and each student receiving their diploma.
  • Family and guest participation will only be virtual. 

Graduating students will be invited in late April to participate in small, in-person commencement processions. More details and assigned times will be shared with students in the coming weeks – for now, students should hold April 17 (CSB) and April 24 (SJU).  More information can be found on the CSB/SJU commencement website

The Commencement 2021 video-taped ceremonies will be streamed at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 22 (CSB) and 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 23 (SJU). After May 22-23, the videos will continue to be available for viewing on the CSB/SJU website. This will allow families to plan their own graduation celebrations at a time that works best for you.

CSB and SJU staff, with members of this year’s senior class, will be planning how to celebrate the educational accomplishments of our students and the community of friendships they have built at CSB/SJU over the last four years.   While the senior events will not be hosted in the traditional way, we are committed to celebrating our seniors in a COVID compliant manner.   

We want to do everything possible to plan a wonderful commencement experience for each of our graduates within the limits of the pandemic. Thank you for your understanding and assistance as we seek to make this a time the Class of 2021 will cherish and remember.


Laurie Hamen, J.D.

Interim President

College of Saint Benedict

Eugene McAllister, Ph.D.

Interim President

Saint John’s University  

Note: You are receiving this message because you have applied for Commencement participation for Spring 2021. At this time the Registrar’s Office is reviewing records and will email if you are not eligible to participate in Commencement this spring. You will be able to participate if you are within 8 credits of completing your degree requirements. It is intended that you participate in Commencement the year that you are listed.