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Sarah Lawrence College Holds Virtual Commencement and Plans for the Future PDF Print Email


By Staff

May 27, 2020: Cristle Collins Judd, the 11th President of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, has presided over three commencement ceremonies since becoming Sarah Lawrence's President in 2017. Her third was on May 15, 2020, and was like no other. Like many schools, colleges, and universities, the undergraduate and graduate commencements at Sarah Lawrence College were virtual.

Putting together the virtual celebrations required creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, characteristics for which Sarah Lawrence is well known. They also had to put together all of the technology needed to make it all work.

President Judd wanted to make sure the ceremony provided "a sense of community" and was "authentic," and "personal." To accomplish this, Sarah Lawrence used a zoom room for students, faculty, and staff and a live stream for the 1,000 or so family members who watched the ceremony. In the zoom room, students from all over the world, including Australia, China, and Brazil, chatted with each other and faculty, threw up their caps and enjoyed a community feeling. There was also a social media hashtag where students posted photos.

Tonya Lewis Lee '88, lawyer, producer, author, entrepreneur, women's health advocate, and wife of Spike Lee, was the speaker for the undergraduate commencement.

Dr. Barbara Bowman '50, the remarkable 91-year old educator, advocate, researcher, co-founder of the Erikson Institute, and mother of Valerie Jarrett, was the speaker for the graduate commencement.

Two senior class co-presidents also spoke. While the ceremony was not in person, it was great. As President Judd said, "It felt like we got it right,"

Now, President Judd is looking toward the future. Sarah Lawrence College will be open for the coming year, whether virtually, in person, or a combination of the two. They have planning groups working on all the complex issues, including class size, residential living, international students, physical distancing, testing, contract tracing, and more. Judd and the planning groups are consulting with numerous experts, and Judd is in constant touch with her colleagues at other colleges and universities on all the issues.

Sarah Lawrence is actually offering students the opportunity to start classes as early as July 8. Students who might typically travel or have a job before the fall start are unable to do so due to COVID-19. Some might want to start their college education early, and "Sarah Lawrence can provide a bridge through uncertainty," said Judd. There will also be classes for pre-college students and adults over the summer. Additionally, the college is launching Sarah Lawrence Live, a dynamic, personal, individual way of teaching and learning online.

Finally, some of what has been thrust upon Sarah Lawrence during COVID-19 will carry into the future. For example, live streaming has enabled Sarah Lawrence to significantly broaden its presenters and audience for career panels and events. This will continue.

As the co-presidents of the senior class said in their speech, while COVID-19 has caused disruption, the Sarah Lawrence education provides the tools needed to help solve today's problems - - creativity, questioning, and independent thinking.

Photo courtesy Sarah Lawrence College


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Bronxville Adult School

About the Bronxville Adult School & Contacts

The Bronxville Adult School is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in 1957 and chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. The School "offers all adults of Bronxville and surrounding communities the opportunity for personal growth through life enhancing skills and provides cultural, intellectual and recreational stimulation at a nominal cost."

The Bronxville Adult School
(914) 793-4435
P.O. Box 334, Bronxville NY 10708

Bronxville Public Library

Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children.  All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)

Concordia College

Concordia College Adult Education

Concordia College was founded in 1881. It is a four-year, co-educational liberal arts college located in Bronxville. Concordia's Accelerated Degree Programs are designed to give you the skills to be competitive in your chosen career or in graduate school. 

Concordia College - New York
171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, New York 10708

Sarah Lawrence College

Sarah Lawrence College 

1 Mead Way
Bronxville, New York 10708

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