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SVSU entrance gate in the fall

Message from President Bachand on Commencement, Fall Semester plans


April 22, 2021

Dear Cardinals,

We are approaching the end of an academic year we are all sure to remember. I am proud of the determination and adaptability I have seen from my colleagues and our students over the past year. It has not been easy, but we have continued to provide a high-quality educational experience, and through our actions, we have shown that we care about the health and safety of our university community. Keep it up! Let’s finish the semester safe and strong.

Commencement remains on and in person

As COVID-19 case counts have risen in our region and across the state, many of you are asking about Commencement exercises planned for Friday, May 7. We are moving forward with our plans to hold three small ceremonies outdoors. Dr. Matt Deibel of Covenant HealthCare came to campus Monday for a site audit and is confident our plans can be conducted safely.

I have spoken with a number of our May graduates, and I know how much it means to them to put on their cap and gown and hear their name called as they cross the stage. They have overcome much to earn their degrees. Graduates and guests (up to 2 each) must follow our health and safety protocols. We look forward to celebrating with them. If weather forces us to postpone the ceremonies, we will hold them on Saturday, May 8. Please visit for full details.


I am pleased to report that more than 70% of our faculty and staff have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. We also saw more than 2,000 students receive their first doses of the vaccine on campus last week. These are vital steps toward protecting the health and welfare of our campus community and moving toward more in-person activities. I received the vaccine as soon as I possibly could, and I strongly encourage you to do the same. If you have questions about receiving the vaccine, please consult a medical professional.

Fall Plans

Looking ahead to the upcoming fall semester, we expect 80% of our undergraduate courses to be taught face to face. We know most students – and most faculty – want to be in the classroom, and we have built our course schedule accordingly. At the same time, we also have expanded our online offerings, and we are working with students who desire a mostly or fully online schedule. I’m pleased to report that registration for next year is off to a strong start.

We know students are eager for more aspects of the college experience to resume, as well. We are planning for a fall semester that will feature more Student Life activities, sports teams in competition, and many other opportunities for students to socialize. None of us can say for certain what the future holds, and we must follow the best public health guidance, but this is how we are planning and what we expect to deliver in the upcoming academic year.

I appreciate everyone’s hard work to bring us to this point. Please continue to take care of yourself and your fellow Cardinals, so we all can look forward to brighter days ahead.


Donald J. Bachand, President


Office of the President
Wickes 349
(989) 964-4041