Spring 2020 Commencement Update

July 17, 2020

I have some disappointing but important news to share. Because of the upsurge in cases of COVID-19 in our local area, I have decided that we must cancel Spring 2020 Commencement Exercises.

In responding to the coronavirus pandemic, my first priority has always been the health and safety of the entire USI Community. After reviewing the data that we are receiving for our county and community, and after consulting with the Indiana State Department of Health, the Vanderburgh Health Department and our elected officials, it became apparent that holding in-person Commencement ceremonies would not be possible, despite our best efforts, without putting the health and safety of those in attendance at risk.

I know that this news is disappointing. It's disappointing for me as well. You have heard me say that we would do everything we could to provide you the opportunity you have earned to walk across the stage and hear your name called. I want you to know that we did everything we could to provide that opportunity; our Commencement team has worked incredibly hard to explore every possibility to hold in-person ceremonies.

I had sincerely hoped to stand and celebrate with you, but this decision does not in any way diminish the amount of pride we have in the work that you have done and everything you have achieved. This virus can never take away your education. It can never take away your discipline. It can never take away your resilience or your resolve. In spite of COVID-19, in spite of other kinds of ups and downs throughout your time at USI, you have persevered.

We are humbled by your discipline, excited about your accomplishments and intrigued about your next steps to serve your family, your community, this region, our nation and the world. You are the future. You are the hope of a better tomorrow. No pandemic will change that.

We have updated the Commencement website with necessary information about diplomas, programs and other aspects of the ceremonies that are affected by this decision. Please visit USI.edu/commencement for this information.

When we are able to come together in person again, I hope you come by campus and visit my office – I want to tell you in person how proud I am of you. In the meantime, please continue to keep yourself and those around you safe.

Be well, everyone.

Sincerely,

Ronald S. Rochon, PhD
USI President