WATERVILLE — Colby College will not hold the in-person commencement ceremony scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, but is planning a virtual celebration of the Class of 2020 on Sunday that is to include speakers, music and, likely, many memorable images and moments.

Meanwhile, the college, which sent its students home in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, has organized a working group of seniors and members of the faculty and staff to discuss ideas for an in-person commencement ceremony or gathering in the future.

Mortarboards will fly again at Colby College in Waterville, but not until later this year. On Memorial Day weekend, traditionally commencement weekend on Mayflower Hill, the college will hold a virtual celebration of the Class of 2020.

About 500 seniors from most states and many countries would have appeared in caps and gowns and received diplomas Sunday on the Mayflower Hill Campus. Instead, they, their families and friends can watch the virtual ceremony from 11 a.m. to noon that day.

The event is accessible via this link.

Colby President David A. Greene will speak Sunday from Lorimer Chapel on the Colby campus. His address is expected to reflect on the year and the moment, followed by a reading from the class marshal. The class marshal had yet to be named Thursday because all grades were not in and the faculty votes on that person.

Students from the Class of 2020 who are part of the working group met last weekend to discuss this weekend’s virtual celebration, according to Andy McGadney, Colby’s vice president and dean of student advancement who is overseeing planning for this weekend’s events.

McGadney said in a telephone interview Thursday it was important for students to be able to do and share what is meaningful to them, and one of the profound moments for students has historically been the “Last Lecture” event.

On Friday, students and the public can view the Charles Bassett Teaching Award Last Lecture from 11 a.m. to 11:20 a.m., via the link https: www.colby.edu/celebrate2020/bassett-lecture.

Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, was chosen by students to receive the 2020 Charles Bassett Teaching Award and will be presenting the lecture.

Gilkes, an ordained minister, is an expert on African American religious history, race and ethnicity in the United States, black women and social change, gospel music and W.E.B. Du Bois, among other subjects, according to Colby’s website for the weekend activities.

Gilkes has taught at Colby since 1987, and was a close friend of the late professor of American studies for whom the teaching award is named.

On Saturday, students will be acknowledged for their academic, leadership and civic achievements as part of the student awards program, to feature the Condon Medal winner, whose identity has yet to be revealed. The event, planned for 11 a.m. to 11:20 a.m., can be viewed here.

“Those are two very special things students expressed interest in seeing,” McGadney said of the lecture and awards events.

The Condon Medal was established in 1920 through the gift of Randall Judson Condon, a 1886 graduate of Colby, according to Colby officials. The medal honors the graduating senior who exhibited the finest qualities of citizenship and made the most-significant contribution to the development of college life at Colby.

“By the votes of her or his class and the faculty, the senior chosen as embodying the spirit of loyalty, service, and the full use of their resources would receive a gold medal,” the Colby website reads. “In Condon’s words, ‘Character is the supreme end of education; Citizenship is the expression of it in the community.'”

McGadney said Sunday’s event will include montages of images of the Colby campus and recorded musical performances, academic presentations and an assortment of “shout-outs” from members of the Colby community including the provost, facilities employees and other familiar faces. Members of the Colby community from far and wide also will share messages of inspiration, thanks and good wishes, McGadney said.

Diplomas, he said, will be mailed to graduates in early June.

As with almost all colleges and universities across the country and around the world, the arrival and spread of COVID-19 prevented Colby from holding traditional commencement exercises at the close of the 2019-20 academic year.

“We’re all sort of digging in and trying to make it as joyful and as celebratory as possible,” said George Sopko, Colby’s director of media relations.

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