Photo of Commencement ceremony
August 12, 2020

LACEY, Wash. — Out of an abundance of concern, we are rescheduling the in-person Commencement for Class of 2020 from September 5 to a new date in May 2021.

The following letter was recently sent to the Class of 2020 graduates on August 12.

Class of 2020 graduates,

First, I want to extend congratulations to you on achieving your degree! Even with all the unexpected changes, please know that you have accomplished a remarkable achievement in your life. 

In this letter, I wanted to update you on a number of areas, including what is happening with Commencement.

Diploma. You will be receiving your diploma in the mail shortly and your transcripts have been updated.  

Regalia. Many have you have already received your cap and gown and are marking this event with your families and friends. It was brought to our attention that the regalia vendor inadvertently shipped the wrong tassel charm. We immediately notified the vendor and asked that they replace the tassel charm with the correct year of 2020. We will be sure to let you know any updates on this such as shipping dates.

Commencement. This has been a season of adaptation and, for many, great disappointment in our inability to provide a live graduation ceremony in May 2020. We have been working during the spring and summer to plan for a safe celebration as soon as we can. While we were hopeful that we could conduct an in-person commencement on September 5, we now realize it will not be possible. Thank you for completing the recent survey regarding your preferences for commencement exercises. The majority of you want an in-person event next May. It is important to know that this would be a separate event from the Class of 2021. You will have your own ceremony and related celebrations. We are looking at dates in early May and will confirm that day and time shortly.

Staying in touch. We do not anticipate any major changes to our current plan, however, we are following the guidelines of the Governor and the local department of health, and will keep you informed throughout the year. Here is how we will do that:

  • Updated Commencement website: This site will be updated as needed, as will our social media channels.
  • Point of contact: Ann Adams, Associate Dean is our point of contact for commencement matters of any kind. Her email is and she will respond to you individually.  
  • Alumni Network: You are now Saint Martin's alumni and you will be officially welcomed to this network in the fall.  We hope you become active members in your local chapters.
  • Frequent messages to you: we will be sending regular updates throughout the fall and spring semesters. Please keep your mailing address and email addresses current with us. Your SMU email account may not be accessible so we will use your personal email. Please use this link to provide us with your updated contact information:

We recognize your disappointment in not being able to celebrate your Commencement in the traditional way last May. We all feel the change, stress, and frustration that COVID-19 has brought. We know you worked hard for your degree and for many of you it is a realization of your educational dream. We will be here next May to celebrate with you and your families. Wherever your amazing life’s journey next takes you, remember that you are all Saints.

Go Saints!

Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D.