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Coronavirus Updates

The University will continue to update the campus community as new and relevant information or policy developments arise.

Commencement Update for Class of 2020

August 26, 2020

Dear Graduates,

Last April we shared with you the difficult decision to postpone May commencement to the October 2-4 weekend. Based on our survey of graduates, it was clear that you wanted an in-person graduation, and it was and remains our fervent hope to be able to provide this for you.  However, the pandemic continues to necessitate restrictions on the size of gatherings as outlined by Governor Wolf, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Allegheny County Health Department.  In keeping with these restrictions, it is with regret that I inform you that the commencement exercises scheduled for this coming October have been cancelled.  The Graduates Awards Lunch has also been cancelled.  Award winners, including the recipients of the President’s Award for Scholarship and Leadership, will be notified on an individual basis. Hosting commencement exercises is simply not viable with the gathering size limitations available to us. 

I know this is a disappointing decision for all of you.  Please know that these are agonizing decisions for us.  Provided that limits to gathering sizes are lifted by next spring, graduates will be invited to walk at the May 2021 commencement.  Please make sure that you notify the office of the Registrar by April 1, 2021 so that we can make the appropriate seating accommodations for you and your family.  Regardless of the year in which you participate, we will identify you as a December 2019, May 2020, or August 2020 graduate in the printed commencement book and as you cross the stage.

Though it was a hard year and a difficult way to end your college career, you might take some pleasure in knowing that your graduating classes will be remembered forever.  We continue to look for other opportunities to celebrate your achievements including a special reception at a future homecoming event.  Please stay tuned for upcoming messages and virtual events. 

Truly Yours,
Howard IshiyamaDr. Howard Ishiyama
Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs