2020 college commencement ceremony postponements and cancellations

Local News

In addition to moving classes and services online, many colleges and universities in Illinois and Iowa have already made the decision to postpone and cancel their 2020 commencement ceremonies amid COVID-19 concerns.

Here is the most current information regarding postponements and cancellations:

Carl Sandburg College announced the cancellation of its 2020 on-campus commencement ceremonies. This includes pinning ceremonies for this year’s nursing program graduates and all other on-campus events through the remainder of the semester. The college plans to honor its newest graduates in some capacity by the end of the semester. Details will be shared once that information is finalized.

The University of Iowa announced the cancellation of its spring commencement ceremonies. An alternative celebration for graduating seniors is currently being planned.

Monmouth College announced the cancellation of its May 17 commencement ceremony. The college is committed to holding an in-person, on-campus commencement ceremony at some point this year and is discussing the possibility of creating a virtual commemoration to occur at noon on May 17. More information will be provided at a later date.

St. Ambrose University has made the decision to cancel their in-person commencement ceremony originally scheduled for May 9. The university is considering other opportunities to celebrate the graduating Class of 2020 through virtual delivery. A campus ceremony may be scheduled for a future date.

Upper Iowa University announced the decision to transition its traditional commencement ceremony on May 9 to a virtual-only event. The revised schedule of virtual ceremonies is as follows:

9 a.m. – Military Locations

11 a.m. – School of Business and Professional Studies

1 p.m. – School of Arts and Sciences

3 p.m. – Andres School of Education

2020 graduates are invited to join other alumni who were unable to attend their original commencement during Upper Iowa University’s 2021 Second Chance Commencement, which will be held during its traditional commencement ceremony on May 8, 2021.

Des Moines Area Community College announced the college-wide cancellation of its spring semester commencement ceremonies, including: the spring semester commencement ceremony at Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines scheduled for May 6, the Des Moines Area Community College Boone Campus Commencement that was to be held in the Boone Campus Gymnasium and the Des Moines Area Community College Carroll Campus Commencement to be held at Carroll Senior High School. Funds that would have paid for graduation ceremonies will be used for direct service to students who are impacted by COVID-19. All graduating students that meet the requirements will receive their diploma or degree in the mail in the weeks following the end of the term. The college hopes to reschedule these events and are exploring options for a virtual or livestreamed graduation address. Regardless of what is ultimately determined, any student who cannot attend a rescheduled or virtual graduation ceremony will be able to participate in an upcoming ceremony within a year of their official date.

Knox College in Galesburg has postponed its 2020 Commencement originally scheduled for June 7. There are plans to hold an on-campus Commencement in August but that depends on the what public health measures are in place at that time. Details will be announced later about a way to recognize and celebrate the Class of 2020 in June without assembling on the South Lawn.

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