SRU postpones spring 2020 commencement ceremonies


Students wearing graduation caps

March 23, 2020

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University President William Behre announced today, March 23, that the University's spring commencement ceremonies, scheduled for May 8-9, have been postponed indefinitely. The move is part of SRU's ongoing effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

"Decisions like this are difficult and disappointing to make," said Behre. "Everyone at SRU understands what commencement means to our graduating students as well as their proud families and friends, not only as a highly regarded and cherished tradition, but as the culmination of a hard-earned educational pursuit. We, as a community, are saddened that our students won't be able to walk across the Morrow Field House stage in May."

Behre said the decision to postpone was made to help ensure the safety of the many members of the University community - students, faculty, staff, parents and friends - that would gather for one or more of SRU's three ceremonies.

"Many health experts are predicting that we could be in for an extended period of disruption and as disappointing as it is to tell our students that celebrating their accomplishments has been put on hold, it is in the best interest of everyone's health and safety that we made this decision," said Behre.

"We've reached the point when families and friends would begin to make plans to be in Slippery Rock and join their graduates, so it was important for us to deliver this news now."

Behre said University officials will host an in-person celebration later in the year, pending the national health scene. "We will recognize our spring 2020 graduates, in-person, at a time when it is again safe to bring large groups of people together," he said.

Behre said that despite the postponement of the ceremonies, undergraduate and graduate students who are eligible to graduate in May will receive their diplomas via mail. "Those students who have earned the right will indeed get their diplomas, and at some point, in the near future, it will be my honor and pleasure to congratulate them in person," he said.

"For the time being, we will continue to remind everyone about the importance of staying safe and healthy, continuing to adhere to all guidance about social distancing, and to continue to support one another during this difficult time."

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