Coronavirus Update – April 24

Hello, Seniors. 

I want to update you regarding the status of this year’s baccalaureate service and commencement ceremony.

During a March 23 video message, I promised to do everything possible to ensure you have a special day of celebration.  Unfortunately, the continuing challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic make it impossible for that date to remain May 23, 2020.  So much work is required to prepare for commencement, much of which cannot be done remotely, that it would be logistically impossible to retain that date.  Moreover, even if we are blessed with an incremental opening of normal societal activities in the coming month, that will certainly not include mass gatherings like Commencement.

After consideration of various options, we have decided to postpone commencement to Sunday, October 11, 2020, as part of Homecoming and Alumni Weekend.  We are still working on the details (which will be shared as soon as finalized), but please put that date on your calendar now and share it with your family and friends.  We hope that combining this important event with the weekend’s traditional rituals will make for the very special commencement your class deserves.

Students’ cap and gown orders through Jostens have been rescheduled for an October delivery date at no additional charge.  For specific questions or concerns, please contact Matt Neau, or Julie Leeth,  

We have also given much thought to how we should address the original commencement date of Saturday, May 23, 2020.  On that day, we will provide a video recording of the traditional baccalaureate service via our website.  Baccalaureate has a long and proud history at Franklin College as an important spiritual celebration of the graduating class.  We are pleased that our speaker has agreed to deliver his address remotely.  Dr. Michael Gilligan, president emeritus of the Henry Luce Foundation, will share his thoughts with graduates, friends, relatives, alumni and the campus community.  Details of the program such as time and access instructions will be shared in the next couple weeks.  We are excited to gather the Class of 2020 and their families with the greater Franklin College family, albeit virtually, to give thanks and celebrate together.

In so many respects, this has been a challenging year for the Class of 2020, and certainly one you will remember forever.  But the strength and resilience our seniors have demonstrated at each turn of events have been reassuring for the present and inspiring for the future.  You have learned to be patient with things beyond your control and creative and ambitious with new opportunities of necessity.  We will be forever proud of you as Franklin College graduates.


Congratulations and best wishes,


Kerry Prather


Kerry N. Prather │ President


Franklin College
101 Branigin Boulevard, Franklin, Indiana  46131-2623 │ 317.738.8010