August 22, 2020

10am – Undergraduate Degree Candidates

2pm – Graduate Degree Candidates

We are pleased to announce that our spring commencement ceremony has been rescheduled for Saturday, August 22, 2020 at Cairn University. This rescheduled celebration is a drive-in outdoor ceremony to comply with Pennsylvania’s restrictions on outdoor gatherings. This event is only open to graduating students and the invited guests of each graduate who can fit in a single vehicle. The event will also be live streamed at

We are planning on holding two ceremonies to safeguard the health and safety of all graduates and guests in compliance with the COVID-19 restrictions for large gatherings. The ceremony for bachelor’s degree candidates, including those in the degree completion program, is scheduled for 10 am. The ceremony for master’s degree candidates, including those in dual-level programs or the dual-level degree completion program, is scheduled for 2 pm.

Please keep in mind that these events may be modified to accommodate any evolving state and county COVID-19 restrictions in accordance with the CDC and other authority directives.

Commencement Speaker

Todd J. Williams

Dr. Todd Williams headshotDr. Todd J. Williams is president of Cairn University. Prior to his appointment as president of Cairn University in 2008, Dr. Williams served as senior vice president and provost for the University. From 2001 until 2005 he served as headmaster and CEO of Trinity Christian School of Fairfax. While in northern Virginia, he also served as visiting lecturer for the Witherspoon Fellowship in Washington D.C.

From 1999-2001 Dr. Williams served as vice president and academic dean for undergraduate education at Cairn, where he began his educational career as a faculty member teaching social sciences in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

He holds a BS in Bible degree from Cairn University and a MEd and a PhD from Temple University in Philadelphia. He is a regular contributor to online and print publications and serves as a visiting lecturer and speaker on cultural and professional issues. He is the chairman of the Board of Governors of The John Jay Institute in Pennsylvania and a member of the Board of Directors of Gospel Volunteers Inc.

Dr. Williams and his wife, Dawn, have two grown children, Connor and Caitlin.

Full Event Schedule

Friday, May 8

Time Event/Location
9:30 am Undergraduate Commencement Rehearsal (Dual-Level degree included)
Gymnasium, MAC
10:30 am Undergraduate Brunch
Furman Dining Commons, MAC
5 pm Graduate and Degree Completion Commencement Rehearsal
Gymnasium, MAC
5:30–6:30 pm Hors d’Oeuvres (Graduates & DCP)
Upper Lobby, MAC
6:30 pm Commencement Banquet
Furman Dining Commons, MAC

Saturday, May 9

Time Event/Location
8–9 am Buffet Breakfast
All graduates, family, and friends are invited to enjoy breakfast.
COST: $5.75 per person (pay at the door)
Furman Dining Commons, MAC
The Highlands will also be open 8-9:45am; serving coffee and grab-and-go options.
9 am Gymnasium Doors Open
9:15 am Graduate Check-In
Gymnasium, MAC
10 am Commencement Ceremony
Gymnasium, MAC
12–1 pm Lunch Buffet
All graduates, family, and friends are invited to a buffet lunch.
COST: $6.75 per person (pay at the door)
Furman Dining Commons, MAC
The Highlands will also be open 11:30-2:00pm; serving coffee and grab-and-go options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will other ceremonies and gatherings usually associated with Commencement weekend be held?
No. The Brunch and Banquet have been canceled.


When and how will I receive my academic attire (cap, gown, and hood)?
Location of distribution and other important information regarding regalia pick up will be sent via email by Karen Moore.


What should I do on the day of commencement on August 22, 2020?
Graduates will receive instructions during the virtual rehearsal. More details about the virtual rehearsal will be sent to graduates as the Commencement date nears.


What are the parking arrangements for Commencement?
Cairn University has ample parking lots. Guests will be directed as they come onto campus.


Are there provisions for handicapped parking?
Yes, security officers will direct guests to the handicapped parking area as needed.


Are there accommodations for guests with disabilities?
Yes, the gym is wheelchair accessible and special seating can be designated as needed.


Will I receive an alumni gift?
Yes, an alumni mug will be mailed to the address you have provided.


What if I want to bring a family member who had COVID-19 or came from a state that had a high number of cases?
Please consult the CDC website and adhere to federal and state guidelines


Do I have to wear a mask during the commencement ceremony?
Yes, all participants and guests will need to wear masks for the duration of the ceremony. Graduates will be provided Cairn-specific masks for the ceremony.


What safety measures is Cairn taking to ensure the ceremony will be safe?
We are complying with federal and statement regulations, including limiting guests and participants, requiring masks and social distancing, providing hand sanitizing stations, and continuing our sanitization protocols across all of campus.  

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