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FAQ: Commencement and Meliora Weekend

For everyone | Updated May 19, 2020

Meliora Weekend

In a May 19 update to the University community, Senior Vice President for University Advancement Thomas J. Farrell ’88, ’90W announced that Meliora Weekend will not be held in October 2020 as usual. “This was not an easy decision to make, but it is the responsible one given the public health concerns and the fiscal constraints the University is currently experiencing,” Farrell said. “We hope to move Reunion celebrations to June 2021 and plan to host our traditional Meliora Weekend again in October 2021.”

More information will be available to the University community as decisions are made. The Meliora Weekend website will be updated with the latest news and announcements. For questions, please contact


Will Commencement be rescheduled?

In-person Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 have been postponed until it is safe to reschedule. However, there is an online recognition of graduates and degree conferral on the celebration of the Class of 2020 website.

More information regarding an in-person Commencement will be shared on the Commencement website as plans are made.

When will I/my child get my/his/her/their degrees?

Degrees were conferred online on May 15. All students who have completed their requirements will receive their diplomas through the mail.

Will my cap and gown deposit/fee be refunded?

The University is working with Oak Hall to process refunds for all of the pre-ordered caps and gowns.

  • Bachelor and Master keeper regalia orders already purchased through the Oak Hall website will be canceled and payments refunded.
  • University of Rochester special blue doctoral regalia orders will fall into two categories:
    1. Orders for rented sets and individual items will be canceled and payment refunded.
    2. Orders for custom-made purchased sets and individual items will be fulfilled and shipped either to a home address or the bookstore as indicated by the customer. Items received at the bookstore will be forwarded to individual customers as needed.
  • MD and family hooder rented special blue doctoral regalia orders have not been charged and will be canceled.
  • Simon School keeper regalia orders have not been charged and will be canceled.
  • All faculty rented regalia orders have not been charged and will be canceled.

NOTE: The only customers who are not eligible for a refund are those who purchased custom-made special doctoral items; it is presumed that they wish to own or wear these items in the future so it should not be too much of a problem.

Students and parents can also now pay to order items (regalia sets or individual souvenir caps, gowns, hoods, tassels, stoles, etc.) to ship direct. See links to purchase below.

Event guidelines and updates

Why is the University taking measures to limit events and gatherings?

We—like the rest of the country, and the world—are taking this very seriously. The health, well-being, and safety of the entire University community—faculty, staff, students, patients—is of primary importance. Our goal at this time is de-densification. We are taking the advice of the experts in our world-class medical center as well as following the instructions of Monroe County, which declared a State of Emergency on March 15.

The benefits of social distancing are best realized when in-person contact is limited. The sooner we can stop the potential spread of COVID-19, the sooner the University can get back to regular operations. We ask that members of our community keep this in mind for the remainder of the semester.

Where can I go to find out if an event has been canceled?

If you have questions about a specific event, please visit our University events calendar, where all updates to events are posted (including when events are taking place virtually).


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