This story will be updated.
The commencement ceremony for the class of 2020 will be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony was originally scheduled for Sunday, May 17. DePauw Student Academic Life sent out a survey with options for rescheduling the ceremony.
The survey offers five options:
- A completely virtual commencement ceremony on or around May 17, 2020
- A virtual recognition (but not an entire ceremony) on or around May 17, 2020
- An in-person commencement event at another time
- Both a virtual recognition in May 2020 and an in-person commencement event at another time
- None of the above
Students have until April 15 to respond to the brief survey, according to an email sent to the class of 2020 by DePauw’s Student Academic Life.
The email elaborated on the reasoning for rescheduling the ceremony, as the university aims to “protect the health and safety of you, your family and friends, and all those DePauw community members who take part in this event in one manner or another,” the email said. “Even if the worst of this pandemic is behind us by the end of April (something no one can accurately predict), the hazards of gathering in May remain too unthinkable.”
Some seniors feel strongly about certain options and seek to convince others to vote a particular way.
“May 17 has been drilled into our heads as one of the most important dates in our lives ever since we were accepted into DePauw,” said senior Emma Nelson in a group chat consisting of other seniors. “And it would be a shame to have that date go by without any sort of recognition.”
Nelson voted for virtual recognition on May 17 and an in-person ceremony at a later date.
“I hope students consider the in-person commencement event,” senior Julia Otteson said. “I know currently the news has been bleak but I believe that we might still be able to celebrate everyone’s hard work and achievements before entering into the workforce or graduate programs or something else just as exciting.”
Otteson voted for both a virtual recognition and in-person commencement event.
“Having commencement would honestly mean the world to me,” Otteson said. “Joining together as the class of 2020 one last time, gives me hope of seeing lifelong friends on the campus we love before parting ways.”