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The H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Outbreak
May 8, 2009: To Rensselaer Commencement Participants and Guests
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To: Rensselaer Commencement Participants and Guests
From: William N. Walker
Vice President, Strategic Communications and External Relations
Date: May 8, 2009

Re: Commencement Health Precautions

In light of the continued national presence of the H1N1 influenza virus, we will adopt a slightly modified process as we distribute diplomas at the Rensselaer Commencement ceremony on May 16. In keeping with our tradition, graduates will be invited to the stage to receive their diplomas and be recognized for their achievements, but we will not engage in the customary handshakes that typically accompany the presentation of the diploma.

While recent reports on the status of the virus from the Centers for Disease Control are encouraging, we believe that the circumstances warrant an abundance of caution to protect the health of all who participate in the ceremony.

It is also important to remind those who are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or who have been in contact with a person who has a suspected case of H1N1, that they should remain home and not attend the Commencement event, in order to prevent the spread of illness. The entire ceremony is Webcast live, and anyone who cannot attend is invited to watch from home.

With thousands of graduates, family members and friends from around the world coming to Rensselaer to celebrate the achievement of our graduates, it is important that we take these measures to protect the health of everyone on this special day.

Congratulations to all the graduates, and best wishes for good health and continued success to all.

William N. Walker
Vice President, Strategic Communications and External Relations

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