Interim President Dr. David Evans Announces Class of 2020 Commencement Plans
Dear AUBG Class of 2020,
When the news of the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, we were the first educational institution in Bulgaria to move completely online, and the rest soon followed. Switching to virtual classes was a painful decision for us all, but the safety and health of our community was – and still is – our number one priority.
Back in March, it was our biggest hope that everything would be back to normal by the fall semester and that we would be able to all get together on campus, have entirely on-ground classes and host the events that we were looking forward to in spring. Unfortunately, that is not how the situation has unfolded.
This is why, after many discussions and careful evaluation of the risks, we concluded that we have to postpone the Commencement Ceremony for Class of 2020 to May 2021. We made this profoundly difficult decision in view of the continuing visa and travel restrictions that will make it impossible for many of you and your families, as well as some of the professors and board members, to travel to Bulgaria in the fall. Having the ceremony this October would also pose a serious health risk to the AUBG community that we want to avoid.
While the pandemic has caused a significant disruption to our lives, it also once again proved the strength of the AUBG spirit. I am deeply grateful to you for the thoughtfulness, kindness and resilience with which you faced this unprecedented situation. You all deserve a beautiful Commencement to celebrate your AUBG journey, get back together with your friends, and acknowledge the support of your families and professors. Having the ceremony in May 2021, together with Class of ‘21, would give it the appropriate scope and gravitas and will be a much-needed one-year reunion for your class, who had to say goodbye in a rush back in spring.
I am proud of you for the way you have handled this difficult year. As you are now starting your first jobs or moving to graduate schools, know that you can always count on the support of all of us at AUBG. It was an honor to have you as students and – as you have now joined our wonderful alumni network – I am looking forward to hear about your many successes to come.
Stay in touch and I hope to see you all on campus in May 2021!
Best wishes meanwhile, and stay safe!