Dear Campus Community:
It is hard to believe we have made it through one full year of this pandemic. Even as the city and county continue to move in a positive direction with COVID cases, we are forced to make the hard decision now on commencement. With that, we have decided to move forward with virtual ceremonies this spring. There are new signs of hope each day as vaccines take hold, but there are still many uncertainties ahead of us, and because of this, public health still must be the benchmark that guides our process.
This is not an easy decision, and one that will surely frustrate students and their friends and families. The university wants to share in the joy of this great moment and we understand and sympathize that this will be a disappointment to most. However, the reality is that 3,300 students are eligible for graduation this spring – plus alumni who graduated last year and many of our students are still awaiting the COVID vaccination. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff must be a priority and the requirements for space to properly protect and celebrate simply isn’t feasible for where we are right now.
We waited as long as possible to finalize this decision in order to assess and consider our options. We are now directing our efforts towards making the virtual event the best possible celebration and we are looking forward to sharing details in the weeks ahead.
The commencement webpage will continue to be updated with the latest information, and we encourage you to visit the Eagle Store’s virtual Grad Fair and sale April 12-18. Our hope is for something in-person this fall to celebrate alumni who graduated during the pandemic and we’ll continue to update the campus community as plans are discussed and finalized.
We are proud of the way our students have adapted and persevered through these extraordinary times and look forward to celebrating their hard work and achievements.
Stay well and stay Eagle Strong!
Dr. David May, Interim President, & Dr. Brian Levin-Stankevich, Provost