No one could have envisioned a College of Charleston commencement quite like this. Just six months ago, students were getting excited about crossing the Cistern and receiving their diplomas on a warm spring day. But the pandemic turned everything upside down and as a result, commencement was postponed. However, the Class of 2020 never gave up hope of having a Cistern Yard ceremony to celebrate their academic achievements and those dreams will be realized on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, with in-person commencement exercises.
“The College’s commencement in the Cistern Yard is such a special occasion. The Class of 2020 deserves their moment crossing the Cistern – the culmination of an academic journey years in the making,” says President Andrew T. Hsu. “While I know these fall ceremonies will not be like our traditional graduations in the spring – now limited to participants wearing face coverings – it will still be a memorable day for them and their families, with Randolph Hall serving as a magnificent backdrop. These graduates have endured much, and I look forward to congratulating each participant on his/her/their great accomplishment.”
The following information regarding commencement ceremonies will change if local, state or federal guidelines regarding the pandemic change. The College will send an email as well as update the website and social media regarding any changes to commencement plans. Graduates should only make travel and lodging plans that they can cancel and/or request a refund. Visit cofc.edu/commencement/information/index.php for more details.
The current commencement information is as follows:
All ceremonies will take place on Saturday, Oct. 10, with Sunday, Oct. 11, serving as the inclement weather date. If there is a storm (hurricane), the ceremony dates will be Saturday, Oct. 24, with Sunday, Oct. 25, serving as the inclement weather date. Each ceremony will last approximately one hour.
The schedule of ceremonies will run as follows:
9:00 a.m. School of Business
12:00 p.m. School of Education, Health and Human Performance; the Graduate School; and the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs
3:00 p.m. School of the Arts, School of Professional Studies; and School of Sciences and Mathematics
6:00 p.m. School of Humanities and Social Sciences
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) mandates that the maximum capacity for events during the COVID-19 pandemic be limited to 250 people. As such, there will be no in-person audience. The ceremonies will be attended by graduates only and will be live streamed. Approximately one week later, videos of the ceremonies with additional content will be available on the commencement website.
Emails with further details were sent to graduates on Thursday, Sept. 10. Graduates should review the email for instructions on uploading a photograph and updating mailing addresses as the commencement book will be mailed to members of the Class of 2020. Visit the Spring Commencement website for the most up-to-date information.