Some Pace University seniors petition for in-person graduation

Three Pace University seniors have created a petition asking their college to reconsider their virtual graduation announcement.

In a letter sent out last week, the school's president made what these seniors call a premature, vague statement about graduation at its campus in Pleasantville, Westchester County. In it, the president said the university is still planning small celebratory events at the end of this semester. But for those who have worked so hard to make it this far, they say it is not enough.

"We have students that personally think they can't do anything beyond the ceremony that can make up for the situation. Nothing can be adequate," said Ashley King, who started the petition on It has nearly 1,000 signatures. 

"The simple truth is that current health and safety guidelines make large, in-person events across our campuses impossible," Pace spokesperson Jerry McKinstry said in a statement, "and such events would contradict current recommendations to avoid travel, and could be canceled if conditions worsened."

Other universities in both the Hudson Valley and New York City — including SUNY Purchase, Fordham University, and Columbia University — are sticking with virtual events.

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