As a result of the continued increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Southern Indiana, the extension of Stage 4.5 of the Back on Track Indiana plan by Governor Eric Holcomb and following extensive consultation with local and state health officials, Spring 2020 Commencement Exercises scheduled to take place in the Screaming Eagles Arena at the University of Southern Indiana have been cancelled.
“This is not the decision I hoped to have to make. We have worked extremely hard to explore a way that we could celebrate our graduates,” said Dr. Ronald S. Rochon, USI President. “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 County Health Department and our elected officials, it became apparent that, despite our best efforts, holding in-person Commencement ceremonies would not be possible without putting the health and safety of those in attendance at risk.”
Spring 2020 Commencement ceremonies, originally scheduled for Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2, had initially been postponed to August 14-16 due to the coronavirus pandemic. In-person ceremonies were to have been held with face coverings required and physically distanced in the Screaming Eagles Arena, which would have limited attendance to graduates, a few ticketed guests per graduate, and a small number of USI faculty and administrators.
“2020 has delivered some big challenges to date, with regard to our personal, and our nation’s health and well-being,” said Rochon. “The Class of 2020, which has been challenged in ways no one could have imagined, has worked to come together and understands that we all must serve each other. Graduates: we are humbled by your discipline, proud of your accomplishments and excited to see what you will do next to serve your family, your community, this region, our nation and the world. This pandemic cannot take away your education. You have persevered despite it.”
Members of the USI Class of 2020 will receive a commencement program and gifts from the USI Alumni Association via mail in the coming days. Diplomas will be mailed to all graduates who have submitted a diploma mailing address to the Registrar’s Office. Graduates may also arrange to pick up their diploma, as well as their diploma cover and any honor stoles and tassels, physically on campus.
Further questions about diplomas and/or transcripts, may be directed to email@example.com. Graduates may also contact the USI Campus Store regarding questions about regalia or refunds at firstname.lastname@example.org. All information related to graduation and Commencement is also available at USI.edu/commencement.
For information about the full USI Safe Return to Campus Plan, visit USI.edu/COVID-19.
Photo Credit: USI Photography and Multimedia