In a campus-wide email, Chancellor Glenn Boyce confirmed the inevitable: students will not return to campus for the remainder of the semester. Boyce also announced that commencement ceremonies will be postponed, not canceled, with the hope that they can be postponed to a later date in the summer.
“This is a sad but necessary decision for our university community,” Boyce wrote. “A final decision will be driven by public health considerations, depending on how the virus spreads. One way or another, we will find a way to recognize and celebrate the significant achievements of the members of the class of 2020.”
Boyce’s announcement comes as other universities across the south are canceling commencement ceremonies altogether. Both the University of Georgia and University of Florida canceled commencement yesterday. Among other Southeastern Conference schools, Mississippi State University is also postponing commencement with the hope of rescheduling.
Boyce also announced that the university is developing an “appointment-based system” to allow students who left belongings in their residence halls to retrieve them at a later point in the semester. He added that the system is not complete and that the timeframe for the appointments will be based on public health considerations.
Students were given five days starting March 14 to retrieve their belongings from residence halls, and residence halls have remained locked since Wednesday afternoon.