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Skidmore College

President Glotzbach reflects on virtual Commencement and current events

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

On the heels of Skidmore’s first-ever virtual Commencement ceremony, I wish to again congratulate the Class of 2020, arguably one of the most resilient classes in the College’s history — if not the most resilient — as I noted in my Commencement address on Saturday.

I’d also like to extend my thanks to the students, faculty, and staff of the Commencement Planning Working Group for their outstanding efforts tackling the unexpected task of organizing the College’s first online Commencement ceremony. The graduates, their peers, their families and friends, faculty, staff, and alumni were able to watch from around the globe, as the event was broadcast live from the Surrey-Williamson Inn and streamed on Skidmore’s website and social media accounts on May 30. In addition, the class can still look forward to an in-person ceremony, to be scheduled when it is safe to gather once again.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to Jinan Al-Busaidi ’20, senior class president, and Jennifer Mueller, associate professor of sociology and director of the Intergroup Relations Program, for their inspiring Commencement addresses, and to the family, friends, faculty, and staff who shared their well wishes and congratulations with the graduating class.

While our students have given us much to celebrate, we must also acknowledge the historically challenging times our nation is facing. We all have much to do to move beyond this moment and to confront the challenges that still lie ahead.

Amid our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, an epidemic of racism continues to grip this country. The deeply troubling and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among others, remind us of the systemic injustices and inequalities that still exist in American society, and we must all pause to reflect on what we can do to move our nation and our communities forward.

As Joshua C. Woodfork and Mariel Martin shared last week, we will host a virtual Community Check-In related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 4.

Now more than ever, it is important for us to come together as a community, listen to one another and learn how we can support each other and the broader efforts for peace and justice.

Sincerely yours,
Philip A. Glotzbach