University of Illinois officials have announced that the school’s three campuses will postpone commencement ceremonies as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter sent to students and faculty, officials said that the postponement was an “outcome we had hoped to avoid,” but said that the ceremonies will not move forward as a result of new CDC guidance issued for coronavirus prevention.
The announcement impacts the school’s campuses in Champaign, Chicago and Springfield.
“Even small turnouts would far exceed the guidance issued last weekend by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of the virus,” officials said in the letter. “The new guidelines call for canceling or postponing all large gatherings for at least the next eight weeks – a timeline that brings us within days of our May commencements.”
The school did not announce alternative plans, but did say that they will “find ways to honor” the achievements of the class of 2020. The school will mail diplomas to graduates, but will explore "virtual events" or rescheduling the ceremony in the future, according to the letter.