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May 4, 2011  

Dear Spring 2011 Candidates for Graduation,

You have lived through some extraordinary events this past April. While we cannot change the impact of the disaster on our beloved Shaw campus, as an institution, we can display the same spirit of generosity we have witnessed from strangers and friends alike. Many have gathered on our campus to help us return it to a state of normalcy. Many have contributed to our Shaw University Disaster Relief Fund. All of us have felt the spirit of community and generosity on this campus.

For these reasons, we have instituted a one-time emergency waiver of our current policy that prevents graduation candidates who have unpaid balances or do not meet the academic criterion from participating in commencement. This means that any candidate who was not cleared because of an academic or financial obligation will be allowed to participate in Commencement. This decision was supported by -the Trustees as the “right” thing to do under these extraordinary circumstances.

While you will be allowed to march with your class, please note that you are still responsible for clearing your record with the University. Thus, you will not be issued a diploma until after you have paid all unmet financial obligations, and/ or until after you have completed the academic work necessary to meet the graduation requirement. In addition, you will not be able to acquire an official transcript until you have been cleared. There can be no exceptions to these terms.

In the face of our recovery from disaster, I believe now is the time for us as an institution to act compassionately and with a generosity of spirit. I know that you will be successful and hope you will remember that in your greatest time of stress that Shaw University lovingly embraced you. I wish every Senior a blessed Commencement.

President McClaurin