In the midst of a pandemic, Shippensburg University is offering a consolation prize to a senior class which has given up many of its “lasts:” A commencement ceremony in its commuter parking lot. 

In the days leading up to the original graduation date of May 9, SU seniors received impersonal video messages from administrators, emails marketing graduate school to new grads, and pleas for donations from the SU Foundation. One or two uncomfortable videos circulated of people dancing in “Ship Socks” — a donation perk for sending money back to the university. One email from the Alumni Association, sent May 8, beckons seniors to get involved as alumni. The next week, on May 14, seniors received an email informing them their SU email address will be deactivated after graduation. 

As bittersweet and sometimes tone-deaf these emails are to graduating…

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