April 29, 2020

Dear Graduate,

I am pleased to announce several events we will hold in honor of your academic success, here at ABC. Our graduation events are a special time to celebrate you for your hard work, perseverance, tenacity, academic prowess, and your persistence to completion.

Please know it disturbs me greatly that we are unable to hold the 2020 graduation events in the traditional manner because of this novel coronavirus pandemic. However, your accomplishments will still be celebrated and uplifted. As I am sure you can understand, traditional ceremonies have been changed for personal health and safety purposes.

The 2020 Graduation ceremonies at American Baptist College will involve four planned activities that are distinctive and unique for these times:

1. A Virtual Graduation
Thursday, June 11, based on the ABC Campus

Through technology, graduates will be remote at their various home locations and participate in the unique ceremony. Some traditional speeches and presentations will be made, other activities will be remote with students. Students in Nashville will participate in a specially designed section of the program on the ABC campus.

2. Special Presidential Presentation at Graduates’ Home Churches
June – August

Should social distance regulations be lifted, President Harris, along with designated staff, will visit the home churches of out-of-state graduates to celebrate with you and your family in your home environment.

3. Convocation Recognition
Fall, 2020

The 2020 graduates will also be recognized at the ABC Fall Convocation.

4. Special Recognition
May 2021 Graduation

Finally, there will be a combined celebration of the 2020 and 2021 graduates scheduled to take place in May 2021.

Please be advised that these plans are contingent upon the safety and health regulations mandated by State and Federal officials.

Given these unprecedented experiences, which takes away our time-honored traditional graduation activities, it is important to us at ABC to honor our graduates in special ways. I want you to know how important your academic success is and how delighted we are to recognize you and your achievements as you become stronger leaders in the world.

In our virtual ceremony on June 11, we want you to be appropriately attired in academic regalia to make the event real in all of our hearts and minds. Furthermore, your diploma will be as meaningful and significant as any other. You will reflect on these events in years to come and say, “I graduated during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am proud to have finished strong.”

Congratulations to each of you and may God continue to bless you mightily.


Forrest E. Harris, Sr.