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  • Coronavirus Updates

Dear Philander Smith College Community,


As you well know, COVID-19 has created disruption to our lives in ways we could have never imagined. For months now, we have been making plans for activities and events that would take place during the Spring Semester to culminate with Commencement on May 2, 2020. Now, we find ourselves in unchartered waters – having to make hard decisions that prioritize the health of our students, their families, and our faculty and staff.

Many of you have reached out to inquire about our plans for Commencement. We understand how much you and your families have been looking forward to this special day to celebrate your hard work and accomplishments at Philander Smith College. Now though, because we are uncertain of when the public health threat posed by COVID-19 will be diminished, I am writing to inform you that we have decided to postpone our Commencement Ceremony until the fall

We held out hope as long as we could that we would not have to go in this direction. However, even if this is the not the news you wanted to hear, we knew that that we needed to provide you with a decision so that you and your families can move forward accordingly.

We thank each of you for your tremendous patience and understanding as we continue to maneuver through all of the implications of this pandemic. There are still other issues around which we are working through to provide answers and clarity, so please continue to watch for additional updates from the College over the next few days.

In this time when there seems to be more gloomy and uncertain news than anything else, I assure you that we do so look forward to the rescheduled date in the fall (which will be soon announced) when we will be able call the names of our seniors and watch—along with their friends, loved ones, and the College’s faculty and staff —as they walk proudly across the stage to shake my hand and receive their degrees.

So, it is with sincerity and inspiration that I say to the members of the Class of 2020: While it may be a celebration that is delayed, your future as a graduate of Philander Smith College will not be denied.

Roderick L. Smothers, Sr., Ph.D.

14th President and CEO

  • Coronavirus Updates