Hiram College is pleased to announce plans for an in-person fall commencement ceremony to be held on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 10 a.m. in Hayden Auditorium, located in the College’s Bates Hall. While the goal is to celebrate the graduating students, restrictions will be put in place to protect students, speakers, and guests from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  

The College is requiring that all attendees––including graduates, guests, and college officials––wear face coverings. Additionally, guests will be symptom screened before entering the building, and special seating and distancing protocols will be in place. Furthermore, to reduce crowd size, Hiram has made the decision to limit in-person attendance to two guests per graduate and to omit a faculty procession. Guest tickets will be distributed to each graduate following their registration to participate.  

Hiram College President David Haney, Ph.D. will deliver the commencement address. Dr. Haney assumed his role at Hiram in September, after serving for two years as the President of Centenary University, a private liberal arts University in Hackettstown, New Jersey.  

“I am honored to welcome students to an in-person, albeit distanced commencement, my first one at Hiram,” said Dr. Haney. “I am even more honored to be chosen as the commencement speaker, and to be privileged to give a message to our graduates as they begin to apply what they have learned at Hiram to the urgent challenges that face the world today.” 

Prior to his presidency at Centenary, Dr. Haney served four years as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Emory & Henry College, in Southwest Virginia. He also held administrative and faculty positions at Appalachian State University, Black Hills State University, Auburn University, and Swarthmore College. Dr. Haney began his administrative career as Dean of Students at the Cambridge School of Weston, a progressive secondary boarding and day school in Weston, Massachusetts. Dr. Haney holds a Master of Arts degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Macalester College, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.  

With plans to send students home for the Thanksgiving break, followed by remote completion of the fall 3-week semester, the early commencement date will help keep student and family travel to a minimum to reduce the potential for COVID-19 transmission.  

by Jenelle Bayus