Message from the President

Dear USD Campus Community:

Last week, we announced our plan for a limited return to campus later this month. While this is a positive development, we are still facing restrictions in the face of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. San Diego County orders still limit large gatherings on campus, even with six-foot physical distancing and other health and safety measures in place, and we are told it is unlikely we will have those restrictions released any time soon. Knowing that this limitation will continue into the fall, regretfully, we will be unable to host any of our previously scheduled in-person Commencement ceremonies slated for October.

As we started planning for the possibility of moving the ceremonies to an alternative format, we reached out and consulted with members of the USD Class of 2020 about our options. What we heard is that it is very important that every Torero in the Class of 2020 be uniquely celebrated and recognized. To that end, work is currently underway to create two wonderful celebrations with distinct recognition and personal touches especially for our 2020 graduates.

Please join me and other university administrators, deans and faculty for a special virtual celebration to recognize the 2020 graduates on October 17 at 1:00 p.m. In addition to the virtual celebration, we are also planning Commencement ceremonies for all 2020 graduates to be held in person in May 2021. We want to ensure that every 2020 graduate has the opportunity to walk across the stage when it is safe to do so. More details will be forthcoming, so please refer to for updates.

While the pandemic disrupted the final year of our 2020 graduates, it hasn’t changed what they have achieved. Our 2020 graduates are a unique and resilient group among the USD community, and their impact on our campus has been great. I am very much looking forward to these two events when we can celebrate the unique and wonderful Class of 2020 alumni who already are making a difference in our world.


James T. Harris III, D.Ed.