FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Another university in Indiana has decided to cancel its spring commencement ceremony because of the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Purdue University Fort Wayne announced Friday that their spring commencement is canceled due to COVID-19 public health and safety concerns.
The University says that because of all "the public health precautions and uncertainties, including social distancing and stay-at-home orders, we came to the conclusion that canceling the event is the right thing to do—the responsible thing to do—to ensure the health and safety of our students, their families, and the broader university community."
You can read the full letter from PFW Chancellor Ron Elsenbaumer sent campus-wide below.
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
As our semester concludes with final exams and grades next week, I want to thank everyone again for your flexibility, perseverance, and focus during the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On behalf of the vice chancellors, deans, and the university’s entire leadership team, I want to express our sincere appreciation for your commitment and collaboration as we continue to invent the playbook for this unprecedented response.
It saddens me to report that, while it had been our hope to convene a commencement ceremony at a later date, after careful consideration, we have decided to cancel our 2020 commencement ceremony.
This applies to all graduates who are receiving Purdue University or Indiana University degrees.
I know this is a huge disappointment for our graduating students and their families, as ceremonies like commencement signify the achievement of milestones in our lives. We share your sadness and disappointment.
We trust that everyone understands the unique circumstances that have necessitated this decision.
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we postponed the May 13 ceremony with the optimism and intention that we might be able to reschedule it.
Given the public health precautions and uncertainties, including social distancing and stay-at-home orders, we came to the conclusion that canceling the event is the right thing to do—the responsible thing to do—to ensure the health and safety of our students, their families, and the broader university community.
In the coming weeks, all graduates will receive their diplomas in the mail.
And even though the formal ceremony has been canceled, we will find unconventional ways to recognize and celebrate our graduates, including via social media.
This fall, we hope to be able to invite our newest alumni back to campus for Welcome Week and the Mastodon Alumni Community’s Mastodon Roast.
Additionally, we will offer all 2019–20 graduates the opportunity to return to campus to participate in the 2020–21 commencement ceremony on May 12, 2021.
Meanwhile, all current candidates for graduation will receive a follow-up email from our Events and Ceremonies office with instructions regarding full or partial refunds for previously rented commencement apparel.
Graduating students, thank you for your understanding.
Please know that our pride in your accomplishments and our enthusiasm for your success know no boundaries.
We are here for you now, and we’ll be here for you tomorrow. You are forever a Mastodon.