Principal’s promise comes to pass for Covid graduates
A promise made by the Principal of the University of St Andrews to hold in-person graduation ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 came to pass last month in a bumper three weeks of celebrations at Scotland’s oldest university, the first in-person ceremonies since 2019.
Announcing the decisions that 2020 and 2021 graduations would be online only due to Covid-19, Professor Dame Sally Mapstone FRSE offered any graduate who wanted to the chance to come back to the Fife town and graduate in person when pandemic restrictions lifted.
In an email to all students in February 2021, Principal Mapstone said: “We have considered every possible way to stage graduations this summer in a manner which is as fair and as inclusive as possible to all of our Classes of 2021, and 2020, and which takes account of the demanding logistics of organising graduation, which require months of advanced planning.
“We have consulted with and listened to our student leaders, and we have had to conclude that it simply cannot be done within the law.”
In the email, the Principal re-stated the University’s promise to stage graduation ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 when public health conditions allowed, and announced that the University had “provisionally set aside three weeks in June 2022 for these celebrations”.
Over three weeks in June that promised was fulfilled as more than 5000 students took part in graduation ceremonies from more than 80 countries, including Scotland, Ukraine, India, Germany and the USA, to name just a few. Though many had already graduated ‘virtually’ in 2020 and 2021, they all crossed the stage to either graduate or have their degrees confirmed in person in the Younger Hall in 26 ceremonies for the Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022, held from Monday 13 June to Wednesday 29 June 2022.
Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.