April 19: Class of 2020 Message from the Presidents

Dear CSB and SJU Class of 2020 and families,

Last May, we were unable to celebrate your graduation by gathering together for commencement ceremonies. At the time, President Hinton and Interim President McAllister committed to holding an in-person ceremony when possible and asked you hold Memorial Day weekend open for a possible graduation ceremony.

After a very difficult and trying year for all of us, the situation is improving. Governor Walz has raised the limits on the number of people that may gather, although social distancing expectations and masking requirements remain in place.

As a result of these changes, both the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University will hold 2021 commencement ceremonies outdoors this spring, with significant restrictions on the number and type of events planned and very significant restrictions on guests.

For the Class of 2020, it seems like waiting until vaccines are more widely available may be a better choice. We believe that COVID-19 restrictions will be substantially different by the fall, enabling a larger crowd to assemble and the possibility of family events.

The CSB and SJU Class of 2020 will be honored and celebrated the weekend of September 11, 2021. A full schedule will be available in the next few weeks and will include alum events, a commencement ceremony, gathering time with friends and family and some of the traditional senior events associated with CSB/SJU, as COVID-19 restrictions allow.

We want to do our best for you and offer you this experience that is so important to students at Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s. We recognize you missed something very important in your and your family’s lives, and we have not given up. As one of your peers, a Saint Ben’s graduate in the Class of 2020, once said, “We want this final hurrah!” You will have it! Please mark your calendar for the weekend of September 11.


Laurie Hamen, J.D.

Interim President

College of Saint Benedict

Eugene McAllister, Ph.D.

Interim President

Saint John’s University