Arkansas State University is postposing its spring commencement ceremony due to coronavirus concerns.
The commencement ceremony was originally scheduled to be held Saturday, May 16. However, school officials say that while the ceremony is being tentatively rescheduled for August. In an email to students and faculty, A-State Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse said that the school is planning to hold the spring commencement concurrently with the August Commencement, which is scheduled for August 7.
“I know that this is a very disappointing announcement. I have dreaded this moment for weeks. But the newly extended timeline on social distancing rules and the pandemic’s projected trajectory in Arkansas leave us with no other choice at this point,” Damphousse said. “While some schools are planning virtual ceremonies or outright canceling ceremonies, I personally believe that there is something very special about the physical act of walking across the stage, and I do not want our students and their families to lose that opportunity.”
Damphousse noted that commencement is not a requirement and that seniors who have completed degree requirements will still be graduating. Diplomas will be mailed to graduates several weeks after the end of the spring semester. In addition, he said that the A-State Registrar’s Office will be working to make transcripts available “as quickly as possible for those who are needing to move forward to employment, certification examinations, or graduate school appointments.”
Graduates who are unable to make the planned August commencement ceremony will also be invited to walk at the December 2020 or May 2021 ceremonies.