F-M High School re-schedules commencement ceremony for July 25

Fayetteville-Manlius High School Executive Principal Raymond W. Kilmer sent the following message to Class of 2020 members and their families on July 3, 2020.This is an image of multiple graduation caps

Dear Class of 2020 and families,

One month ago, I asked you for feedback to assist us in planning a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020. I received an overwhelming response where over 80% of the responses favored postponing the ceremony in the hopes that a more traditional ceremony would be possible this summer.

Since receiving your feedback, I have reached out to local and state leaders advocating for new guidelines that would allow the Class of 2020 the opportunity to come together one final time. My optimism grew when, on Sunday, June 7, Governor Cuomo announced outdoor graduation ceremonies of up to 150 people could begin as of June 26.

Unfortunately, based on information I have received this week, I no longer believe we will see any adjustment to the current guidelines this summer, and it is time to provide much needed closure for the Class of 2020 and their families.

While the Governor’s capacity restriction does not allow us to bring the entire graduating class together for a traditional ceremony, it does provide us with an opportunity to bring our graduates and their families to our campus for an in-person diploma ceremony. Therefore, after considerable thought and consideration, Fayetteville-Manlius High School has scheduled the 2020 graduation ceremony for Saturday, July 25 (July 26 rain date) at the Fayetteville-Manlius High School athletic stadium.

The graduation ceremony will consist of:

  • 8 a.m. – You will receive a link to view a virtual portion of the ceremony, which will include the traditional speeches found in a typical Fayetteville-Manlius High School Commencement Ceremony. This link will remain open to view at any time.
  • 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Graduates and their families will arrive on campus according to the times outlined below.

Last name begins with / arrival time:
A – Bra:  9 a.m.
Bre – Ci:  9:30 a.m.
Co – D:  10 a.m.
E – Gag:  10:30 a.m.
Gal – He:  11 a.m.
Ho – Kh:  11:30 a.m.
Ki – Mc:  12:30 p.m.
Me – Pas:  1 p.m.
Pat – Ri:  1:30 p.m.
Ro – So:  2 p.m.
Sp – Ve:  2:30 p.m.
Vi – Z:  3 p.m.

  • Only graduates and their immediate family members (parents/guardians and siblings to a maximum of 4 guests) will be permitted to participate in the ceremony. This event will be livestreamed for additional family members and friends to view at home.
  • Graduates and their family members must wear a mask while on campus. When it is the graduate’s turn to have their name read and cross the stage, they may remove their mask. Each graduate will walk the stage as their name is called and will receive their diploma cover. Family members will be in front of the stage in a designated area where they may take pictures of their graduate crossing the stage and receiving their diploma cover.
  • Professional photographers from Genesee Photo will also be photographing graduates receiving their diploma cover and in a designated area after they leave the stage. These photographs will be made available for purchase at a later time. 

Our graduation ceremony will strictly follow the NYS Department of Health issued guidance governing graduation ceremonies. The ceremony will adhere to appropriate protective measures including social distancing, limitation of number of attendees, wearing face coverings, and other precautions.

In the coming weeks, you will receive additional information and specific guidelines regarding the ceremony (i.e. parking locations, arrival procedures, safety protocols). In the unlikely event the Governor were to increase the capacity where we could bring the entire Class of 2020 together, we would adjust the ceremony design. However, the date would remain the same. Please contact me if you have questions at rkilmer@fmschools.org or 315-692-1910.

While this is not exactly how we envisioned celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2020, I am confident this will be a special and memorable ceremony for our graduates and their families.


Raymond W. Kilmer, Ed.D.
Executive Principal

Class of 2020 Stadium Graduation Guidelines