Rows of Saint Lawrence University graduates move their tassles from right to left at Commencement.

Commencement 2020 Recap

Date: Sunday, August 1, 2021
Location: Newell Field House
Time: 10 a.m.

More than 350 members of the Class of 2020 returned to St. Lawrence University for the Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, August 1, 2021. The ceremony was postponed from its original commencement date of Sunday, May 17, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony took place 442 days later than the previously scheduled date.

Each member of the class was permitted to bring up to two guests. The health and safety of the University’s guests and the North Country community were top priorities. Each attendee had to follow the University’s COVID-19 protocols for the event which included providing proof of complete vaccination, a positive COVID-19 test result dated May 1-July 20, or a negative PCR nasal test, taken no earlier than July 27. 

Noteworthy Items:

The Class of 2020 Commencement marked the first commencement ceremony for President Kathryn A. Morris, St. Lawrence University’s 19th president, whose tenure began on July 1, 2021.

President Morris was joined on stage by President Emeritus William L. Fox, St. Lawrence Class of 1975, who retired as president on June 30, 2021. Fox served as the Class of 2020 Commencement speaker and delivered Sunday’s keynote address.

Degrees Conferred

Since graduates were mailed their diplomas in May 2020, participants in Sunday’s ceremony received their diploma covers as they walked across the commencement stage.

In May 2020, a total of 540 degrees were awarded. There were 514 bachelor’s degrees awarded, including 314 Bachelor of Arts degrees and 200 Bachelor of Science degrees, as well as 26 master’s degrees and 5 Certificates of Advanced Studies.

The member of the Class of 2020 who received the Trustee Academic Achievement Award, which recognizes the graduate with the highest cumulative grade-point average (GPA), is Brendan Reilly, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a GPA of 3.985 out of a possible 4.0. Brendan majored in Religious Studies and minored in both German and Chinese Studies. This was announced for the first time during Sunday’s ceremony.

Diploma Covers Presented by Family Members

It is a tradition at St. Lawrence for graduates to have the option of receiving their degree from family members associated with the University. Diploma covers were given to the following graduates from relatives during the 2020 Commencement Ceremony on Sunday:

  • Patrick Corbitt; diploma cover given by Patrick’s parents Tim Corbitt, Counseling Services, and Tina Corbitt, Bookstore
  • Ian Erlichman; diploma cover given by Ian’s parent Joe Erlichman, professor of neuroscience
  • Kiersten Larrabee, diploma cover given by Kiersten’s parent Beth Larrabee, Center for Career Excellence
  • William Luke; diploma cover given by William’s parent Lisa Luke, trustee
  • Molly McMasters, diploma cover given by Molly’s parent Suna Stone, Chemistry and Environmental Safety
  • Annie Wilson; diploma cover given by Annie’s grandparent Bruce Benedict, chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustee

Most Popular Majors

St. Lawrence students are known for their curiosity and adventurous spirit. In the Class of 2020, 77 percent pursued more than one area of study, while 46 percent double or triple majored or pursued a combined interdisciplinary major.

The most popular majors for this class were:

  1. Economics
  2. Business in the Liberal Arts
  3. Psychology
  4. Government
  5. Biology

Class of 2020 Successes

Despite graduating during a pandemic, more than 92 percent of St. Lawrence’s Class of 2020 was employed or enrolled in graduate school 7-9 months after graduating. Nearly 1 in 5 graduates enrolled in advanced study such as graduate school.

    Speeches and Songs

    President Kathryn A. Morris

    President Emeritus William L. Fox '75

    Vivian Susko '20, Joan Donovan Speech Winner

    Liv Hart '20 Performance (Video)

    Travonte "Trey" Wheeler '20-Baccalaureate Speech

    Livestream Recording

    Genesee Photo Information

    2020 Commencement graduation images are live on Genesee Photo's website and available for purchase.

    Click the link to view our St. Lawrence page then click on the 2020 tab to find your name and view your images:

    You can place your order by mail, fax, phone, or online at Please be sure to note our special graduation items such as our graduation plaques and our tassel frames. For any questions you may have, Genesee Photo's customer service is available Mon-Fri from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. CT. Please contact them at 405-624-1002 or email them at

    Genesee Photo System
    (405) 624-1002 or 1 (800) 345-7427