University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson announced today the virtual commencement planned for May is canceled. Instead, the university is postponing in-person graduations until December 2020 and May of 2021.
The message sent by Johnson today:
Dear Spring 2020 Graduates and Families,
We hope you are well and staying safe in these unprecedented times for our nation and our University. Your lives as last semester scholars at Nevada have been impacted more than other students, including disappointment over the cancellation of your spring commencement ceremonies. You and your families have been looking forward to a great celebration of your achievements for several years. All of us who teach and advise you have been looking forward to it as well. Commencement is the highlight of our year, too. We begin planning your big day several months in advance and it was a difficult decision to make, but it was your health and those of your loved ones that became the driving force in making our decision.
In an attempt to give you something this spring, we offered a virtual commencement. This was rejected by our student leaders and graduating students. In considering the many options for providing you with a celebration of your achievements, we were not confident that the health concerns of our state and nation would be eased in the months ahead. We did not want to further frustrate and disappoint you with yet another cancelled or postponed event. Through several constructive conversations this week with graduate and undergraduate students, we have determined that Spring 2020 graduates will have the choice to celebrate their achievements coinciding with, but be separate from, either the December 2020 graduation ceremonies or spring 2021 ceremonies. The level of interest by graduates in which ceremony they choose will help us determine the details of planning a memorable in-person experience for you and your family. You deserve to have a unique time to share the joy of your achievement and the bonds of this trying experience.
We will continue to work with our student leaders as we begin to plan something special for you in which ever ceremony you choose. The University’s graduation department will be sending you more information about these choices and requesting a preliminary show of interest to assist us in our planning.
Most of all, stay safe and healthy. We know that this, above all else, will help us return to the large campus gatherings and celebrations we hold so dear at the University of Nevada, Reno. We encourage you to frequently visit unr.edu and coronavirus information and updates for the latest updates on commencement and University operations and delivery of services.
Marc Johnson, President
Shannon Ellis, Vice President for Student Services