March 25, 2020

Dear Class of 2020,

I write to share an update following the messages you received today from President Salovey and Vice President Goff-Crews regarding your class’s commencement celebration. All of us recognize how disappointing it is for the graduating class not to be able to gather in person this May. We share your sadness, and we share your desire to mark the conclusion of your “bright college years” with the ceremony, joy, and togetherness that this occasion deserves.

Secretary Goff-Crews is convening a committee that will work to find meaningful ways both to celebrate your accomplishments this May and to develop plans for a future gathering in person. I am pleased to let you know that I have appointed two of your classmates to serve as members of that committee: Vig Namasivayam, treasurer of the Senior Class Council, and Nathan Isaacs, representing the Class Day Committee. 

Vig, Nathan, and their fellow members of these two groups will serve as important conduits for representing all of you in this planning process. I know that they will soon be reaching out to you with further information about how you can contribute your ideas and participate as we move forward. I also have asked Alison Coleman, adviser to the Class Day Committee, to work closely and creatively with you in developing plans for a senior class celebration reflective of all that you have brought, collectively, to the university community. She, the student affairs leadership, and all of us in the Yale College dean’s office share a heartfelt commitment to making this commencement memorable not only for the profound challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also for the academic and co-curricular excellence, and the community spirit, that have been hallmarks of your class’s four years at Yale.

I am very grateful to all of you for the resilience, positivity, and thoughtful engagement you have shown during this immensely difficult time. I look forward to our continued work together, and to celebrating with you in May and beyond.


Marvin Chun
Dean of Yale College
Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology; Neuroscience; Cognitive Science