With Commencement Ceremony Postponed, Graduates Celebrated with Commemorative Video

President Butts speaking from his office

During a traditional academic year, the graduates of fall 2019 and spring 2020 would have gathered on the morning of May 17th to participate in the 54th Commencement Ceremony of SUNY Old Westbury. The 2019-2020 academic year, however, ended far from traditionally.

The spread of COVID-19 forced SUNY Old Westbury to postpone its commencement ceremony to an as-yet-undetermined date, as public health precautions preclude mass gathering in ongoing efforts to quell the spread of the disease.

More than 1,200 students are eligible to graduate this year, making the Class of 2020 the second-largest in college history. To mark the date and ensure graduates were celebrated on what should have been their special day, SUNY Old Westbury delivered at 9 a.m. on May 17, the time the ceremony would have started, a video featuring College President Calvin O. Butts, III and nearly 60 members of the faculty and staff to the graduating students.

"While the events of this semester have been unprecedented for us all, I believe we can and will grow stronger from this experience," said President Butts in the video. "I know for many it has been difficult and that challenging days still lie ahead for us all."

Access the video via the image below or by visiting the College's Youtube page.

Green screen from video that reads Congratulations Class of 2020