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The Arch in Spring.

Commencement 2020 & 2021

May 22, 2021

We are pleased to announce that on May 22, 2021, we are planning to host outdoor Commencement Ceremonies for both the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 at Kenneth R. Gill Stadium (rain location is Gill Center) with COVID-19 health and safety protocols in effect. The 150th Commencement for the Class of 2020 is set for 10 a.m. and the 151st Commencement for the Class of 2021 at 2 p.m. Nearly 600 undergraduate and graduate degrees are expected to be awarded at each ceremony.

 

Many details, including important traditions like the ringing of the bell, Senior Week and our honors and awards ceremonies have been planned by our commencement committee. They have worked to preserve tradition as much as possible while being conscious of the fact that some members of the graduating classes simply cannot participate in in-person events. Our hope is to be as inclusive as possible. Additional updates will be sent out to Class of 2020 alumni and Class of 2021 graduates as details are finalized. Students and guests should continue to visit this webpage for the most up-to-date information.

Commencement 2021_Graphic_Green

Commencement Ceremony Information

Who: McDaniel College Classes of 2020 & 2021
When: May 22, 2021, 10:00 am (Class of 2020) and 2:00 pm (Class of 2021)
Where: Kenneth R. Gill Stadium*
*Rain Location: Robert Joshua Gill Center.
The commencement ceremonies will be livestreamed, rain or shine, so family and friends can participate from a distance. 

Commencement Speakers

2020 Commencement Speaker: McDaniel College President Roger N. Casey

McDaniel College President Roger N. Casey serves as the speaker for the 2020 ceremony. The ninth president of McDaniel and currently one of the longest-serving college presidents in the State of Maryland, President Casey is retiring at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year. He will also be awarded an honorary degree during the ceremony, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in Feb. 2021.

McDaniel College President Roger N. Casey

McDaniel College President Roger N. Casey will serve as the speaker for the 2020 ceremony.

2021 Commencement Speakers: Mary Lynn Durham '70 and Bill Roj '70

Speakers and honorary degree recipients for the 2021 ceremony are 1970 alumni Mary Lynn Durham and Bill Roj. Their $5 million leadership gift made the renovation of the college’s new Roj Student Center possible. Mary Lynn Durham is an attorney and currently serves as vice chair of the McDaniel College Board of Trustees, while Bill Roj served as chairman, president, and CEO of ERICO, a leading global manufacturer and marketer of superior engineered electrical and fastening products for electrical, mechanical, and civil applications.

Mary Lynn Durham and Bill Roj

Speakers and honorary degree recipients for the 2021 ceremony are 1970 alumni Mary Lynn Durham and Bill Roj.

Awards and Recognition

Special undergraduate and graduate student awards are presented at McDaniel’s Commencement. Award winners from 2020 will be recognized during the 2020 ceremony. Winners of the 2021 awards will not be revealed until the 2021 ceremony. These awards include:

Undergraduate Awards:

Argonaut Award:
Given to the graduating senior with the highest cumulative grade-point average.
The Edith Farr Ridington Writing Award
For the best paper by a graduating senior.

Graduate Student Award:

The B. Jill Brooks Hodge Professional Development Award
Given to a graduate student who has demonstrated academic excellence with a strong compassion for individuals with special needs and an interest in serving the deaf or disabled.
student receiving award from provost at commencement
ROTC commissioning

Friday, May 21 at 9:30 a.m. in Baker Memorial Chapel Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony McDaniel’s Green Terror Battalion

McDaniel’s Green Terror Battalion Army ROTC program hosts its Commissioning Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. May 21 in Baker Memorial Chapel with four graduating seniors from McDaniel being commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Maj. Gen. Clement S. Coward, director of the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, is the guest speaker.

Army ROTC has been a tradition at the college since 1919, and the Green Terror Battalion, which includes cadets from McDaniel, Hood College and Mount St. Mary’s, is one of the oldest ROTC programs in the nation. McDaniel’s Military Legacy Scholarship guarantees up to $100,000 over four years to all military veterans, active-duty military personnel and their children. McDaniel also participates in the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program.

commencement cap decorated

Friday, May 21, 2021 Virtual Senior Awards Ceremonies 5:30 p.m. & 6 p.m.

Two virtual senior awards ceremonies are set to be broadcast May 21 through YouTube Premieres from the McDaniel College YouTube channel.

Academic Awards: 5:30 p.m.

Seniors earning departmental awards, as well as other academic awards, will be honored during this ceremony.

Activity and Leadership Awards: 6:00 p.m.

Recognizes seniors earning activity and leadership awards and honors, including the Bates Prize for the most outstanding male graduating senior and the Mary Ward Lewis Prize for the most outstanding female graduating senior.

Maintaining Traditions

Following the Virtual Awards Ceremonies, graduating 2021 seniors will be invited to participate in a special investiture ceremony and candle walk through Ward Memorial Arch Friday evening at 7 p.m. Following the candle walk, each senior will have the opportunity to ring the Old Main bell located in Memorial Plaza. 

Class of 2020 graduates will have the opportunity to ring the Old Main bell starting at 8 a.m. prior to their May 22 Commencement ceremony.

Green Terror mascot with cheerleaders.

May 17-21, 2021 Senior Week #MCDANIEL21

  • Virtual Trivia & Senior Week T-Shirt Pickup
    Monday, May 17 
  • Virtual Escape Room 
    Tuesday, May 18 
  • Outdoor Movie 
    Wednesday, May 19 
  • Senior Donor Appreciation Backyard BBQ 
    Thursday, May 20
  • Graduation Traditions 
    Friday, May 21 

Commencement Updates

Additional updates will be sent out to Class of 2020 alumni and Class of 2021 graduates as details are finalized. Please continue to visit this webpage for up-to-date information. Read the full announcement from President Roger Casey below.  

Commencement Announcement: Feb. 10, 2021

Dear McDaniel faculty, staff and students:

Of the many things McDaniel College has lost due to COVID-19, perhaps one of the most difficult was last year’s Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony. At the time of cancellation, I assured the Class of 2020 that we were committed to a ceremony in their honor. Additionally, we now have the Class of 2021’s Commencement ceremony to plan. I write today to update you about our plans to celebrate our newest graduates.

Central to our planning is the need to keep our community members safe while doing everything we can to preserve an in-person Commencement ceremony. Knowing that being outdoors dramatically decreases spread of COVID-19, I am pleased to announce that on May 22, 2021, we are planning to host outdoor Commencement Ceremonies for both the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 at Kenneth R. Gill Stadium. The combined (undergraduate and graduate) ceremonies will be held at 10:00 am (Class of 2020) and 2:00 pm (Class of 2021).

Although we cannot be certain what the future holds related to the trajectory of COVID-19, but also knowing that Commencement planning must begin immediately, it is important to be aware that at this time we anticipate some additional health and safety protocols:

  • All graduates should plan on only being permitted to have a maximum of two guests attend in-person. While I know this is incredibly disappointing, it is an important factor in being able to have an in-person ceremony. We will be live-streaming the ceremonies so family and friends can participate from a distance.
  • All participants and attendees will be required to wear masks, regardless of whether or not they have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Though we are excited by the prospect of outdoor ceremonies, we also must acknowledge that weather is a significant unknown. We intend to confirm our outdoor location no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 19. At that time, if the weather appears to be problematic, we will move the ceremony indoors to the Robert Joshua Gill Center. Unfortunately, should this be the case, the ceremony will be for graduates only and guests will not be able to attend in-person.

In the coming weeks and months, the Commencement Committee will be finalizing additional details, including important traditions like the ringing of the bell, Senior Week and our honors and awards ceremonies. I have asked them to preserve as much as possible while being conscious of the fact that some members of the graduating classes simply cannot participate in in-person events and our hope is to be as inclusive as possible. Additional updates will be sent out to Class of 2020 alumni and Class of 2021 graduates as details are finalized, and our Commencement webpage will be another source of up-to-date information.

I’d like to thank in advance the team of staff who will be working to reimagine Commencement in order to celebrate our graduates. And to our classes of 2020 and 2021—while I know it is likely we will need to make compromises in order to be as safe as possible, we will do everything we can to ensure an in-person ceremony to celebrate your accomplishments.

President Roger Casey