More colleges and universities in the state are canceling commencement, while others are holding out hope for the ceremonies. Indiana University on Friday announced it is postponing spring commencement ceremonies on all campuses that had been scheduled for May.
“I am taking this action now so you can adjust any commencement travel plans given the COVID-19 pandemic,” said IU President Michael McRobbie.
IU says graduates will be able to participate in a future commencement ceremony when the public health situation allows. All IU degrees will be awarded as earned; the change of commencement plans does not affect the timing and awarding of IU degrees.
“We are especially saddened to have to postpone this year’s ceremonies, as these students will be the bicentennial graduating class and the first in IU’s third century,” McRobbie said.
Purdue University also this week announced it is canceling commencement ceremonies. President Mitch Daniels on Tuesday informed Purdue students the May commencement ceremonies will be conducted virtually, rather than in the traditional ceremony in Elliott Hall of Music, which seats 6,000 people.
“We will provide an opportunity, if you so choose, for you to take part in a future traditional ceremony, and I promise you we are hard at work to create a special, memorable and fun virtual experience for you and your families as an option for this May,” said Daniels.
Indiana State University this week announced plans for a virtual commencement. ISU says graduates will be offered the opportunity to participate at commencement in December.
University President Deborah Curtis said it is “especially difficult” to announce the cancelation of commencement.
“I have often said the two best days of the year are winter and spring commencement,” said Curtis.
Butler University has also canceled its May commencement. The university is exploring alternatives, including a postponement to a later date or a major December Commencement ceremony for May and December graduates.
Meanwhile, the University of Notre Dame has not yet decided if the ceremony will be held. It’s scheduled for May 17.
In a letter to the study body, Notre Dame President, Rev. John Jenkins said he spoke with student government leaders and class officers about potential outcomes.
“As I said to them, we hope to know more in the next two to four weeks and, if we are not able to hold Commencement on May 17th, we will explore with academic and student leaders the possibility of holding Commencement at another date later in the summer,” said Jenkins.
Officials with Ball State University say a decision has not been made to alter the plans for the May 2 commencement.