Life at the Abbey

"...toward a balance in mind, body, and spirit."

Class of 2021 Commencement

Important Dates:

Awards Ceremony: Thursday, May 27, 10:45 am (Devine Theater) livestreamed with a zoom link.

Yearbook Signing: Thursday, May 27, 12 noon, Arcade outside of wrestling room

Senior Party:
Friday, May 28, 7 - 9 pm. Organized by the InterHouse Council

Baccalaureate:
Sunday, May 30, 11 am, Devine Theater, livestreamed through the school's Facebook page

Graduation Rehearsal: Friday, June 4, 9:45 am, Athletic Fields

Graduation:
Saturday, June 5, 11 am, Athletic Fields, livestreamed through the school's Facebook Page

From Jim Power, Headmaster:

In keeping with tradition, the Baccalaureate Mass will take place in the Devine Theater on Sunday, May 30th at 11 am, with each graduate and two guests invited to attend in person. There will be a live feed on the school Facebook page (no Facebook account needed) for those who want to watch from a distance.
 
The Saturday, June 5th Graduation Ceremony, by contrast, will be a little different this year. We plan to have this outside, so that may accommodate more friends and family members.  The ceremony will begin at 11 am in hopes of avoiding afternoon heat and possible showers. It will also be livestreamed on Facebook.
 
Our outdoor capacity of 280 will allow each graduating senior to invite 5 guests.  This number keeps us in line the District of Columbia’s Department of Health guidelines for social distancing.
 
Graduates and guests should arrive on campus no earlier than 10:15 am and no later than 10:30 am.  Because there is assigned seating (Zack Delgado will send you information on this) there is no advantage to coming early.  We do not want anyone sitting in the sun for too long before the ceremony.  Since we are unable to use the field for parking (as it is being used for the ceremony), families are asked to please arrive in no more than two cars.
 
Upon arrival to campus, volunteers will help with parking and then direct you and your guests to your assigned seats. The graduates should proceed directly to the Devine Theater where they will receive their boutonnieres and line up for the procession. Graduates should arrive on campus fully dressed in their tuxes and ties.  Once outdoors, the Class of 2021 will sit together as a group near the stage.
 
I’m told that St. Anselm’s usually has a wonderful reception after the graduation ceremony. Given the present DC Department of Health restrictions, we cannot host a social gathering with food and drinks on campus.  
 
We want to do everything we can to help keep our graduates and their families outdoors as much as possible, and we hope to can keep the use of indoor facilities to a bare minimum. 
 
Given that June 5th is often a hot day in Washington, we’d encourage you to wear comfortable shoes (the fields can get muddy if it has recently rained) and weather-appropriate clothes. Don’t forget sunscreen if it is sunny and an umbrella if it looks rainy! 
 
It is always a bit of a risk holding a ceremony like this outside, but we are doing this because it is the healthier option, given the realities of Covid, and going outdoors will also allow for more family members to join the graduates for this special day.  Holding the graduation outside may present challenges for members of our extended community, particularly those with health or mobility issues, so if you have a guest who requires special attention, please let me know via jpower@saintanselms.org
 
If the weather will not permit us to go outside, (and my own bias is that almost anything short of a thunderstorm means we will be outside!) we will have to move the ceremony to the Brian Murphy Gymnasium. We would post this decision as early as possible on our website, and we will email all parents and graduates as well.  While the Devine Theater might be a more appropriate venue for a formal ceremony, in the time of Covid, we would only be allowed to have the graduates invite one guest to join us for the live ceremony.  The Brian Murphy Gym, meanwhile, has a capacity of 122, which means that each student can bring two guests with him to the ceremony itself. We will provide a video feed into the Devine Theater, whose capacity during Covid is 100, allowing for two additional guests.
 
Both the Baccalaureate Mass and the Graduation Ceremony will be live streamed and taped. Once the videographer makes the taped file available, a link will be sent to all parents.
 
We are required to have the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of the graduates’ two Baccalaureate guests and five Graduation guests for tracking purposes. You will soon receive a form from Zack Delgado, which will ask for their contact information. For Graduation, you and your guests will be seated in “family pods” with proper social distancing from other families.  These seating assignments will be done in the order that we receive the completed RSVP form.
 
We know that a typical St. Anselm’s graduation is also an opportunity for graduates and parents to spend important time with the teachers who have meant so much to them over the past several years. Unfortunately, because of Department of Health regulations, we will need to limit the number of teachers who can join us on June 5th.  With this in mind, we hope to host the Class of 2021 for a social gathering with the faculty, perhaps over Thanksgiving break. 
 
Thank you for your patience with all of this. We know that this plan is far, far from the ideal. That said, we are excited about having an in-person graduation, and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on May 30th and June 5th. The class of 2021 is certainly worthy of celebration!  We will continue to monitor the DC Department of Health guidelines and if the restrictions loosen and we are able to host more guests, a reception, and/or a longer time on campus, we will incorporate these changes into our plans and notify you immediately.