Pictured is a previous commencement ceremony, a tradition that 2020 graduates fear they may not get to experience. 

Dear Administration, 

I am going to start off by saying, I completely understand how much is going on right now at Doane. The prioritization, finances and COVID-19 changes, I am sure, takes a lot of time and energy to work on. But, that is no excuse for leaving us graduates out in the cold. 

Us graduates have been watching other schools send out packages and letters to celebrate their recent graduates. Some schools even posted all their graduates on their social media for the graduate to share. We feel neglected. 

We watch other schools including Concordia and College of Saint Mary’s decide on their commencement dates. We received an email today saying we can’t have one in the summer so we just have to join next year’s class commencements. Don’t we deserve to be celebrated for our own class? Sure an outdoor commencement may be too hot to have in August, but why not look at more options? 

We watch you decide on the coming school year and say you are ready to welcome new students. We are excited for the new class coming in too, but what about the ones who had to leave without our goodbyes? We feel ignored. 

I am writing this using “we” because it’s not just me that thinks these things. I have been approached by many seniors about this. I am not sure why they came to me – maybe because I was in the know while working with The Owl, or maybe it’s because I was the one who rang the bell. In any case, I am not alone in this feeling.

The situation with the bell was both humbling and frustrating. Trust me, I was honored to get to ring the bell for my own graduation. I had tears in my eyes as it was ringing. It wasn’t just tears of happiness though. It was also tears of frustration. I was a little discouraged that it took a student, a graduating student at that, for it to be rung and the tradition to continue. 

I thank the faculty for the videos they posted. I tried watching them all because it meant the world that they took the time to celebrate us. But that’s all we got besides pictures of us graduates celebrating ourselves being shared. 

There is nothing we can do about that situation now, the time has come and gone. Decisions have been made. But, I wanted to share our frustrations. 

With no cap, no gown and no commencement of our own, those of us who have spent the last four years and a lot of money to be here are discouraged. Discouraged in a school that means so much to us.