May 22, 2020
Dear Member of the Senior Class and Parent / Guardian,
We are pleased to invite you to “Save the Date” for the Class of 2020 Commencement at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 31, 2020, the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola. Our ceremony will take place on Rowen Field in the back of our campus, with a rain date of Saturday, August 1 (also at 10:00 AM).
Here are important details to keep in mind:
- Hosting this event is contingent on State of New York public health guidelines permitting a gathering of this size on these dates. We will contact you as we learn the status of the New York state guidelines for late July, as we get closer to the date.
- Assuming public health officials lift current restrictions and in consultation with medical specialists within our community, we feel we can promote a safe event by spacing graduates with their 2-3 guests together as groups sitting six feet from each other, which is possible on Rowen Field. All guests would be required to wear masks and maintain social distance at all times. Graduates would be required to wear gloves to receive a diploma scroll.
- We will contact your son with details about graduation ticketing and attire, and whether he can send in measurements for the white jacket and tie that Fordham Prep graduates traditionally wear at our commencement. If this is possible, we would like to schedule his pick-up of his attire with our request that he remove any remaining personal property from his locker sometime later in the summer.
- Several parents and students have asked about diploma distribution, or whether Fordham Prep staff could deliver them to your homes. Unfortunately, the vendor we use for our diplomas was forced to halt the project during “stay at home” orders which closed this non-essential business. We will be back in touch with you after we have more details about how and when we will distribute diplomas.
- If state officials prohibit a crowd gathering of this size in July or August, we will look to schedule a graduation or celebratory event for the Class of 2020 and their families on November 25th (the day prior to Thanksgiving) or over the Thanksgiving weekend.
We hope you enjoyed the Senior Baccalaureate Mass that we presented virtually earlier this week, and that you are looking forward to two special presentations next week: our Senior Awards presentation (Tuesday, May 26 at 7:00 PM) and a celebratory video to recognize the Class of 2020 on the original date of graduation (Wednesday, May 27 at 4:30 PM). Both videos will premiere on our YouTube channel and be accessible afterward for you to share with family and friends. Seniors recognized for individual awards will receive them by mail late next week.
For the purpose of our school records and transcripts, the date of May 27, 2020 will be recognized as the graduation date for the Class of 2020. Our college counseling staff will provide transcripts to your colleges and universities following the original timeline of this important communication. There will be no delay in this regard.
You may find more details on all of the ways we have recognized the Class of 2020 here, including a message from the faculty and our ongoing senior tributes. While our efforts could never replace in-person events, we think you will enjoy these opportunities to celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of your distinguished class.
Be assured of our continued prayers for you and your families.
Rev. Christopher J. Devron, SJ Dr. Joseph A. Petriello ‘98
May 1, 2020
Dear Seniors and Parents/Guardians of the Class of 2020,
As we begin May, we are all aware that it is typically a month filled with special events to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating seniors. It is also a time that affords them the opportunity to say goodbye to faculty and friends. The administration, faculty, and staff of Fordham Prep are committed to doing all we can to celebrate the achievements of our seniors and all those who have contributed to their success in meaningful ways.
Once we have more guidance and clarity from state government and public health officials, we will be able to provide more details regarding an in-person commencement ceremony and senior liturgy in the summer or fall as circumstances allow. We are committed to having these in-person events for the Class of 2020 sometime during the windows of time we offered to you in our recent survey: second half of July, first half of August, Columbus Day weekend, or the day before Thanksgiving. A senior prom could also be a possibility if these senior events happen in the summer. We are sincerely grateful for your patience and understanding.
In the weeks leading up to the May 27th graduation date for the Class of 2020, we want to be sure that we do all we can during this month to properly recognize our seniors. We are happy to share with you the following plans that are now in place for recognition and events during the month of May.
A virtual Senior Liturgy will be broadcast on the Prep’s YouTube channel for our seniors and their families on Tuesday, May 19th at 5:00 p.m. The liturgy is being organized by the Campus Ministry staff and a committee of seniors. It will include student readers, student musicians, and a reflection from a member of the senior class. The following are some suggestions for ways families can engage this liturgy together:
Plan a special family meal for after the liturgy
Consider planning a post Mass reception on Zoom or FaceTime with some of your close Prep friends and their families
Take a photo of your family watching the Mass and sharing a meal and email to email@example.com for sharing on our social media platforms
A video presentation of our Senior Awards Ceremony will be shared with seniors and their families during the week of May 18th. We will use this opportunity to announce award recipients in the Class of 2020 and celebrate their success over the past four years. More information to follow from the Principal’s Office.
A video presentation to mark the May 27th graduation date of the Class of 2020 will be shared on that day. We sincerely congratulate Maclane Farrel ‘20, who was voted as senior speaker for graduation by his classmates. Our presentation will include remarks from Maclane to the senior class, as well as words of prayer and recognition from the administration. As mentioned above, we will still plan for an in-person commencement ceremony at a later date to be determined once we have more guidance from state government and public health officials regarding large gatherings.
Senior Video Compilation
Student Government is asking seniors to submit short video clips reminiscing about their Prep experience and to say goodbye to the community. A video compilation will incorporate these messages alongside photos from the past four years. If any seniors or their parents/guardians have memorable Fordham Prep photos from any point during your four years here, please email them to JP Feighery at firstname.lastname@example.org. If any senior is interested in filming a short video to say goodbye, recall a favorite class, team, activity, or memory, and/or recognize an influential teacher, please email Clark Hooper ‘20 at email@example.com for more information.
Senior Portrait Highlights
The Engagement, Development and Communications office will run a series highlighting seniors and their college destinations. A post on social media will include their senior portrait, the logo of the college they will be attending, and a quote from the senior or a list of their extra-curricular activities. The posts will be every Tuesday and Thursday, with approximately five per day. Seniors who have not already done so should share information for these posts in this form previously emailed to them by Mr. Broussard.
On behalf of the Ramkin staff, a digital copy of the 2020 Yearbook will be emailed by Dr. Petriello to all seniors and their parents/guardians on the morning of Friday, May 8, the last day of senior classes. Physical copies of yearbooks will be provided to seniors at a later date yet to be determined.
Faculty/Staff Video Messages to Congratulate the Class of 2020
Faculty and staff members are in the process of recording video messages of congratulations and well wishes for the seniors which will be collated into one video and shared with our seniors, their families, and the wider Prep community in the coming weeks.
Class of 1964 Alumni Card Writing Campaign
Bill Perry ‘64 and his classmates are spearheading an initiative for all Fordham Prep alumni to each write up to five graduation cards/letters to graduating seniors. Each alumnus will choose five seniors to whom they will write. The Engagement, Development and Communications office is currently collecting information on the senior class that will be distributed to the alumni so as to personalize the messages.
Senior Online Retreat
Seniors will be invited to participate in an online virtual retreat inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola and designed to offer an opportunity for seniors to reflect, share, and pray during this time of transition. Mr. Kravatz will share more information in the coming week including the specific dates of the online retreat experience.
Fordham Prep has been a school community of rich tradition since our founding in 1841. We are sincerely aware of the range of emotions for students, parents, faculty, and staff caused by the disruption of these traditions that send off our graduating seniors. We hope that our efforts here during our time apart from each other bring the Fordham Prep community closer together to celebrate the Class of 2020. As this is an ongoing planning process, some details may change and we will communicate that appropriately if and when that happens.
Special thanks to our Campus Ministry Team, the Engagement, Development and Communications staff, and Student Government for coordinating many of these efforts along with the Prep administration. We look forward to sharing in these special moments with our seniors and their families in the weeks ahead.
Rev. Christopher J. Devron, SJ Dr. Joseph A. Petriello ‘98