Dear Parents of Students in the Class of 2020:


As the fall semester draws to a close and winter settles in on New England, it’s hard to believe that in six months the members of the Class of 2020 will be walking across Denison Terrace to receive their diplomas. Fall classes end on Friday, December 6, and reading period and final exams take place from December 7-14. Housing will close at 12:00 noon on Sunday, December 15 and will reopen on Monday, January 20. Spring semester classes begin on Thursday, January 23.


Since late summer, I have been reaching out to seniors, encouraging them to review their academic progress to make sure that they will meet all of the requirements for graduation by the end of spring. To participate in the Commencement ceremony on May 24, 2020, a student must meet Wesleyan’s four degree requirements:


  1. Completion of a major
  2. 32.00 credits without oversubscription
  3. Cumulative grade point average of 74 percent
  4. Six semesters in residence (four or five if a junior or sophomore transfer)


If you sense that your student is unsure about where they stand in relation to any of these requirements, please urge them to get in touch with me as soon as possible.


In the minds of many students, the excitement for graduation is sometimes tempered by a measure of trepidation for life beyond the college bubble. While some students have already lined up full-time, well-paying jobs, there are many other students who have not yet secured employment or who have not yet been admitted to a graduate or professional program. If your student is among those whose post-Wesleyan plans have not yet materialized, please encourage them to make an appointment at the Gordon Career Center as soon as possible, and let them know that I would be happy to meet with them as well to chat about next steps.


Over the past three years, students in the Class of 2020 have had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Wesleyan academic and cocurricular experience. In this process, it is my hope that they have learned things about the world and about themselves that will sustain them into the future. It is my hope that their writing, their art, and their thinking has become more sophisticated and mature, and that they have become more disciplined and more open-minded, and have increased their capacity to think critically and work effectively. It is also my hope that they have been able to develop meaningful relationships with fellow students, faculty, and staff, from around the world and across the social spectrum.


I will be writing to you again in early spring. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to call or write if you have any questions or concerns.


Best wishes,

David Phillips
Dean for the Class of 2020