Announcement of Virtual Commencement for Graduating Class of 2020

July 30, 2020

Dear Gonzaga Graduates of the Class of 2020:

This week we learned that the Spokane County Health District clarified that no large group gatherings will be permitted in Spokane for the foreseeable future and all events booked for the Spokane Arena have been canceled through the remainder of this calendar year. The newest Washington Safe Start guidelines limit gatherings to five people in any public setting, strongly discourage travel, and have serious impacts on food services throughout the city. Due to these factors, it is regretfully not possible for us to host you and your family and guests in person over Labor Day.

As you are aware, we have been planning with the possibility that we might need to move the ceremony to an alternative format. It is of the utmost importance to me that every Zag in the Class of 2020 be uniquely celebrated and recognized. To that end, work is currently underway on creating a wonderful “remote yet live” celebration experience and program with distinct recognition and personal touches especially for you.

I invite you and your family to please join me and other University administrators, Deans, and faculty colleagues on Labor Day weekend (September 5-6, 2020 – more specifics on ceremony days and times to come).

There is more to come in this year of celebration and recognition of your Gonzaga experience. The Tassels Will Turn Committee is preparing a commemorative gift package especially for you to further enjoy and engage in the ceremony and festivities.

In the meantime, please take advantage of the resources of our Alumni Association and the Center for Career and Professional Development. They can help you write new chapters of your Gonzaga experience and to serve your current and longer-term career needs along with your interests in continued works of social justice. We are truly proud of you and support of your success now and moving forward. I encourage you to visit for additional details regarding the virtual ceremony. You may also watch for updates from my colleague, Angela Ruff, Academic Events Manager, for information about how to participate.

You are a unique and resilient group among the Gonzaga University community—the Class of 2020 is strong, agile, and enduring. I am very much looking forward to a day when we can welcome you back to campus and celebrate you as the unique and wonderful class of alumni that you are. Please stay safe and healthy. We will look forward to celebrating you this coming Labor Day Weekend!

Sincerely yours,

Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil.