Sitting bolt upright in bed last Thursday night, President Christina Paxson awoke, drenched in sweat, with the phrase “triple commencement” running through her head.
“No no no no,” Paxson whispered shakily as the words ran through her mind on a loop, desperately staving off images of overbooked hotels, a Campus Dance with 20,000 attendees, and throngs of disgruntled family members descending on The Blue Room. “Calm down, Chris. It won’t happen.”
“Double commencement is doable,” she confirmed to herself, nodding as she ran through her plans to house families in residence halls and stagger Senior Week events, accommodations that definitely wouldn’t work with three times rather than twice the normal amount of graduates. “And then this will all be behind us.”
“The Class of 2020 WILL walk through the Van Wickle Gates next May,” she said, fumbling with a bottle of sleeping pills while a persistent subconscious voice reminded her that Dr. Fauci thinks large gatherings won’t return to normal until the end of 2021. “And by 2022, we’ll forget this big mess ever happened in the first place.”
As she struggled to fall back asleep, Paxson reportedly clenched her eyes shut to ward off frightening visions of emails titled “Welcoming the virtual Class of 2025.”