March 22, 2020

Dear Wagner College Class of 2020,

Your Commencement matters. A lot. To you first and foremost but please know it is extremely important to all of us at Wagner College.

This rite of passage, this celebration, this milestone in life is important. It requires recognition. It warrants celebration. It demands marking.

We truly understand. For that reason, Wagner College will make sure it happens.

In the coming weeks and months, we will work together creatively to tap the joyous genius and generosity that defines our culture so that we can make your Commencement the best we have ever seen on Grymes Hill.

Part of that means, sadly, postponing the event itself. We have no choice for reasons that are far beyond our control. Even if we understand this rationally, it does not mean that we should not be upset or disappointed. We are upset and disappointed. Jan and I, new to our community, are devastated, along with the faculty, coaches, staff, family and friends who have watched you flourish for several years while at Wagner. We wanted nothing more than to see you process and have your special moment for all to witness and celebrate. And yet, our disappointment is nothing compared to yours.

Class of 2020, you did not deserve this. It is so sad to see your cherished celebrations, competitions, and performances cancelled or postponed. The loss is irreparable and it is not fair. You have done all we could ask. You have done your part with grace and grit and fostered an amazing class spirit that inspires all of us privileged to know you.

In spite of this disruption, we know you are going to do great things. For that reason, in the coming days, weeks, and months, we are going to intensify our efforts to connect you with potential employers, with alumni who can provide advice and support, with professional development opportunities. The world needs our Wagner graduates more than ever.

Finally, despite the need to postpone Commencement this spring, rest assured that we will recover all we can, when we can. Together, we will create a Commencement commensurate with your greatness, one we will never forget, one that you and your friends and family and all of us at Wagner will treasure and remember forever.

It starts now. Please share your ideas through

Class of 2020, you are in our hearts and thoughts. Stay strong, stay well, and keep your chin up. You are going to march. You are going to graduate. You are going to have your moment in the sun. We promise.

Go Seahawks!

Joel W. Martin, Ph.D.
Wagner College


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