December commencement canceled


Simpsonian file photo

On Sept. 10, John Woell, Senior Vice President and Academic Dean, told students over email that the December Commencement would be canceled.

“That celebration is just as important to us as it is to you. When we began planning the December commencement ceremony, the world was very different,” Woell said in the email. “In May, and throughout the summer, we believed we would be through the worst parts of the pandemic and would be able to celebrate with you. Unfortunately, that is not the case — the situation has worsened, particularly in Iowa and the counties surrounding your beloved alma mater.”

Woell extends his congratulations to all students for nearing the completion of the degree at Simpson College, that will serve them through their life. Telling them that this is a milestone that should be celebrated along with those who have helped you to achieve it, including “parents, family, friends, faculty and staff of Simpson College.”

We want you to have all the pomp and circumstance that surrounds this joyous occasion, and at this time, we cannot offer even a fraction of that which you should expect. To say we on campus are disappointed is an understatement,” said Woell in the email.

As the school has stressed the health and safety of everyone on campus, this decision was made with that in mind.

Ending the email, Woell extends his apologies again by saying, “Please accept my apologies and those of the President’s Cabinet. We are deeply saddened to have to postpone the celebration, but believe it is the safest and wisest course of action.”

Simpson is planning a “robust ceremony” in May. This plan may entail two ceremonies to be able to invite your families and friends back to campus to celebrate your accomplishment.

Cassie Sand, a senior graduating in December, has made plans to attend the May ceremony instead.

“It sucks that the May ceremony might be split into two groups because of how big [it] might be,” Sand said.