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Lee University Summer Graduation?

 
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Post Lee University Summer Graduation? J W Buckaroo
Has anyone heard if Lee is going to still have a Graduation Ceremony on August 1 or will the spike in Covid-19 cases force its cancellation? Thanks Friendly Face
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7/15/20 2:26 pm


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Post Dave Dorsey
A friend who recently graduated forwarded me an email earlier in the week from Dr. Conn announcing that Commencement would need to be cancelled. It was a very well written email, I'm sure it's got to be available on Lee's website somewhere. Now 67% friendlier!
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7/15/20 5:06 pm


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Post shaunbwilson
I am in the class of 2020 that graduated in May. We received a very thoughtful email yesterday from Dr. Conn, which I will post in part below. The emphasis is from the original email.

Quote:
Hello, my friends in the Class of 2020 --

Never in my life has there been an email more painful for me to write than this one.

It is my sad responsibility to tell you that our Commencement exercises, scheduled for the weekend of August 1, must be cancelled. I just don't believe we can find a way to keep you and your families safe and healthy in the big crowds that would come to Cleveland for this event.

I have reached this conclusion in consultation with the Chairman of the Board of Directors (he came to Cleveland yesterday to help me with this decision), and with the advice of the Cabinet (our eight vice presidents) and other faculty leaders. We have wrestled with this for days, with tears, literally, at times.

The problem which we have been unable to solve is how to bring a big crowd together safely during this COVID-19 summer. With 760 graduates, 200+ faculty, and hundreds of parents and family members, the kind of large celebratory event that makes commencement so special is just too risky for everyone’s health. We have considered dozens of scenarios, all with masks and spacing, in multiple events and combinations, but in the end, we feel there are just too many variables we can’t control. We are confident we have created a plan for the fall semester which will allow us to reopen safely, but we can do that without the challenge of big crowds, which seem so problematic for protecting everyone’s health.

Bottom line: as much as I hate it, I believe it would be irresponsible to bring everyone together for commencement at this time.

On a personal note, may I say that I am heartbroken to disappoint you in this way. I realize you have worked so hard to earn your degree, and you have paid a big price for this pandemic already, so to add this to your list of losses hurts me deeply. It’s sad to me for another, quite selfish, reason: as you know, August 1 will be my last day as president. For months, I have imagined spending that day with all of you, singing and celebrating, shaking your hand and congratulating you, and doing all those things we have enjoyed together at Lee.

So I realize this announcement brings a sense of loss for you, and I am right there with you. . . .

. . . Thanks for understanding, guys! This pandemic will be over someday, and whenever that time comes, we will get together, the Class of 2020, and that will be so sweet!

I love you all,

Paul Conn


Let me say that I think that, as tough as this is, it is the right decision. In a later communication, Dr. Conn invited any graduating class member who wishes to take part in any of the commencement ceremonies that take place between now and 2021 to do so.
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7/15/20 5:12 pm


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Post Thanks for letting me know J W Buckaroo
Thanks for posting Dr. Conn’s email. I truly appreciate it! Friendly Face
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7/15/20 7:07 pm


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Post Eddie Robbins
34 years as president and his last graduation is not going to happen. I feel very sorry for the students, don’t get me wrong. My own daughter has to do an online graduation. But, I feel really bad for my BIL in this situation. I’m sure he never dreamed his last year at Lee would be like this. And, of course, lots of people are having struggles and disappointments. 2020 just stinks. Acts-pert Poster
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7/15/20 9:40 pm


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Post Carolyn Smith
Eddie Robbins wrote:
34 years as president and his last graduation is not going to happen. I feel very sorry for the students, don’t get me wrong. My own daughter has to do an online graduation. But, I feel really bad for my BIL in this situation. I’m sure he never dreamed his last year at Lee would be like this. And, of course, lots of people are having struggles and disappointments. 2020 just stinks.


I hope they can still do some kind of celebration for Paul Conn, and surely he will be invited back whenever they come together to celebrate the class of 2020.

This has been an odd year, indeed. I hate that it is ending on this note for your BIL after all he has given to the university. It would not be what it is today without his input.
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7/15/20 11:27 pm


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Post Dave Dorsey
One of our pastors had a similar experience this year. He also worked as a high school teacher at a local Christian school. He was resigning at the end of the school year so he could focus exclusively on his pastoral duties, but this was his year to plan and lead the senior trip and he had been working on an amazing trip to Europe for literally a couple of years and of course it had to be cancelled.

Very, very sad stuff.
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7/16/20 12:31 pm


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Post Eddie Robbins
There are lots of sad stories but none as sad as the deaths. The families that have been touched. I know of 5. 2 were former professors at Lee. One was our friend, Phil Underwood’s FIL. Another was my niece’s step-father. And another was a friend who was at the Cartersville COG when so many were hit with this virus. Acts-pert Poster
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7/16/20 2:07 pm


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