Commencement 2020

Commencement 2020

Commencement Ceremony

Your graduation is one of the most important milestones in your life. While we can’t be together as originally planned, Bristol will host a virtual commencement ceremony on Friday, August 21 at 5:30 p.m. Join us and celebrate your success with your friends and family!

Given the student survey feedback, as well as the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term impact on large-scale events such as our commencement ceremony, we have decided to move forward with a virtual commencement ceremony. Students wishing to walk across the stage in person will have the option to attend the 2021 Commencement Ceremony. 

In the coming weeks, on this web page, we will provide instructions on how students and their families can participate. Graduates will also receive information via email and mail.

We hope you can join us for our reimagined commencement ceremony in celebration of the class of 2020 – it will be a wonderful event nonetheless! The event will feature many of the same elements of traditional in-person commencement, including giving a shout out to each and every one of you who rightly earned your credential. 


You will be receiving your diplomas by mail in early July.

Caps and Gowns

You may pick up your cap and gowns at one of the pick-up events being held on the Fall River campus. At these drive-through events held under the solar canopy, you will simply drive onto campus and give your name to the attendant along with your preferred size. You will not have to leave your car and we will engage in safety precautions throughout the day.

Please join us at either of the following pick-up dates:

  • Tuesday, July 14, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 15, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

To ensure that each student receives their cap and gown, please be sure to show your Bristol ID or other form of identification. Students are only permitted to pick up their own items.

If you are unable to attend one of these dates, your cap and gown will be mailed to your home address after the pick-up events have concluded. All graduates will be receiving a cap and gown!

Cords and Stoles

During pick up there will be select stoles/cords available. If your stole/cord is not available, it will be mailed directly to your home address.


Graduate Photo

We would love to include a photo of you during the virtual ceremony while your name is being read. If we do not receive a photo, only your name will be read. Please click on the link and complete the form and upload your picture! Complete the graduation Photo Submission Form (accessBCC login required)

Graduate Survey

Your input is important to us and critical in helping us continue to improve for our students in the future. By completing this survey, you will be entered into a drawing to win one of three Grad Packs that include a wooden diploma frame, Bristol hooded sweatshirt, hat, and cup - a $200 value. Please complete the graduate survey. (accessBCC login required)

We hope you and your friends and family will join us on August 21!

Need more information? Graduates received emails on May 29 and June 23 with more details. You may also view our commencement frequently asked questions

Celebrate the Class of 2020

We invite you to share positive messages of congratulations and well wishes to the class of 2020. Here are a few tools that may help. 

Sign the Class of 2020 Yearbook

Post a message, photo, or video on the Class of 2020 virtual yearbook. 

Click here to sign the yearbook 

Profile images

Use one of these profile images on your social media channels.

 Class of 2020 - Bristol Grad Social Graphic   Class of 2020 - Congrats Social Graphic   

 Class of 2020 - Proud of My Grad Social Graphic



Honorary Degree

2020 Honorary Degree - Margery EaganMargery Eagan, Talk Radio Host, Writer and Columnist

Margery Eagan is the co-host of 89.7 WGBH’s midday program Boston Public Radio, featuring smart and engaging conversations with leaders and thinkers shaping the Boston region. Subjects of her thought-provoking commentaries include gender and women's issues, Catholicism and politics.  
Margery has strong connections to the South Coast region. She grew up in Fall River and attended BMC Durfee High School before graduating from Stanford University, in Calif., where she earned a bachelor's degree in American studies. 
She has written for her hometown newspaper The Herald News, as well as for The Standard-Times, of New Bedford. She has contributed to The Boston Globe, Burlington Vermont Free Press, Boston Magazine and The Boston Herald, where she was a columnist for 27 years. In 2015 and 2016, she earned national awards from the Religion Newswriters Association. 

She currently lives in Brookline and has three grown childrenShe has a perfect attendance record at BMC Durfee High School reunions and two of her closest friends are high school classmates. 


Distinguished Citizen

Joseph A. MarshallFounder and President of J. Marshall Associates 

2020 Distinguished Citizen - Joseph A. MarshallJoseph A. Marshall is the Founder and President of J. Marshall Associates, a Financial Planning Firm in Fall River, and a dedicated member of the community whose contributions are highly regarded.  

Upon return from his dedicated service in the United States Air Force, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, Joseph graduated from Bristol Community College in 1978, prior to transferring to the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, where he earned his bachelor’s degree.  

He has held numerous leadership roles at Bristol throughout his devoted service to the college. Most recently, as Chair of the Board of Trustees following his service on the board since 2007 and is the former President of the Bristol Community College Foundation. He is the recipient of Bristol’s 2007 Cornerstone Entrepreneur Award and 2016 Paragon Award. In 2018, the college dedicated the new Joseph A. Marshall Veterans Center, on the Bristol Fall River campus for Mr. Marshall’s tireless advocacy for Bristol and student veterans. 

Marshall is also a recognized community servant. He has served on several city boards and community groups, including the Fall River Office of Economic Development, the Board of Assessors, SER-Jobs for Progress, the Prince Henry Society of Fall River and currently serves as the Chair of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Committee. He was recently named the recipient of BMC Durfee High School’s Distinguished Alumnus award, in 2020.  

He is a life-long resident of Fall River with his wife Joanne. They have four daughters and eight grandchildren. 


Last Lecture

Melissa Cardelli, Coordinator of the Early Childhood Education Careers Certificate and Degree programs
2020 Last Lecture - Melissa Cardelli
she joined the college in 2004Melissa Cardelli has been committed to working with the college and regional community to strengthen the early childhood education profession, and to promote increased educational and professional opportunities for early childhood educatorsIn addition to strengthening her community and profession, she is recognized for her dedication to student success and support. 

Melissa has more than 20 years of experience in the field of early childhood education as a professor, early childhood educator, family childcare professional and program coordinator. She received her Bachelor of Arts in sociology (social services) from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, in Dartmouth; her Master of Science Certificate and Master of Science in parent education and support, from Wheelock College, in Boston, and her Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S) in early childhood education from the American International College, in Springfield. Melissa also serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River. 

She has been the recipient of several awards at Bristol including the Silver Shield Award in 2009, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Award in 2012, as well as the President’s Volunteer Service Award and Massachusetts Colleges Online Course of Distinction Award in 2014. 




Viviane GoeseAssociate in Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences (Humanities Transfer)

2020 Valedictorian - Viviane M. Goese (2)Viviane M. Goese, of Swansea, Class of 2020 Valedictorian, began her journey at Bristol Community College as an English as a Second Language (ESL) adult learner. During her time at Bristol, she gracefully balanced her responsibilities of caring for her family, while pursuing the opportunity she had once not thought possible - to earn a college degree. In addition to her outstanding academic achievements, she has positively contributed to the college community in her service as a tutor and a role model for others.  

She credits the support and encouragement of her instructors for her successful transition from the college’s ESL program to college courses and being asked to serve as a tutor. As a tutor for Bristol’s Quest program supporting first-generation, low-income students and/or students with disabilities, she strengthened her own confidence and academic development.   

She challenged herself and excelled as a member of Bristol’s Commonwealth Honors Program and was appointed as a Supplemental Instructor in the college’s Dual Enrollment Program, assisting in the education and professional development of high school students, simultaneously earning high school and college credits. She also served Bristol as a tireless volunteer and advocate for the college’s Holocaust and Genocide Center’s initiatives and events.  

She was recently accepted at Brown University, in Providence, R.I., in the Resumed Undergraduate Education (RUE) Program, where she aims to pursue the open curriculum offered by the institution. Through its multidisciplinary approach, she aims to achieve her intellectual ambitions while pursuing her goal of becoming an educator. 



Ethan MortAssociate in Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences (Behavioral and Social Sciences Transfer) 
2020 Salutatorian - Ethan MortEthan Mort, of Mattapoisett, Class of 2020 Salutatorian, developed his academic foundation and inspiration while earning his Associate in Liberal Arts at Bristol, before transferring to George Washington University (GWU), in Washington D.C., in Spring 2020.  

In addition to his outstanding academic record, Ethan enhanced his experience at Bristol by becoming active in the college community and participating in lecture series. He served as an active member of the college’s Seeds of Sustainability Club, advocating and educating communities toward sustainable lifestyles, as well as the Chief Organizer of the Bristol Climate Day of Active Education. The college-wide event promoted and raised awareness of the issues of climate change and carbon drawdown.  

He attributes the support of his hard-working family and the college’s dedicated faculty members to his academic achievements and preparation for success at a four-year institution. He believes that with a Bristol education, you can break barriers and go wherever you want to go.   

Ethan is pursuing a major in Political Science and a double minor in History and International Relations at GWU, where he participates on the GWU Parliamentary Debate Team. He plans to pursue a career in the political field in a position he feels can create change. 

Student Profiles

The class of 2020 achieved something incredible. Click here to learn more about some of our students.