The combined spring and summer commencement ceremonies planned for Aug. 8 have been postponed "indefinitely," Auburn University announced on Monday afternoon. Concerns on large in-person events and interstate travel restrictions factored into the decision, according to the University.
"More than 4,000 spring 2020 graduates were initially scheduled to participate in commencement ceremonies on May 2–4," the University said. "However, due to state-mandated limits on event sizes, plans were made to combine the spring and summer ceremonies on Aug. 8 at Jordan-Hare Stadium."
The cancellation also includes separate ceremonies on Aug. 1 at Auburn Arena designated for the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Harrison School of Pharmacy.
The University clarified that the commencements could still happen at a later date, saying that it "hopes to recognize spring and summer graduates at a future event."
"A decision for the University's December 2020 commencement is contingent on pending health and safety protocols, with an announcement to be made by mid-fall," the University said. "The University regrets any inconvenience the postponed ceremonies have caused graduates, their families and friends."
In place of the ceremonies, the University will be opening campus buildings on Aug. 8 for academic deans to greet and celebrate graduates and families who have already arranged plans to return to Auburn. Graduates will also be allowed photo opportunities in Jordan-Hare Stadium between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. that day.
"Once inside [the stadium], graduates can wear their regalia, scan their name card and have their name displayed on the video board where Auburn University Photographic Services will be available to shoot official photos," the University said.
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The University said the planned August commencements would have "promoted numerous safety protocols and aligned with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state guidelines." It will enforce its "A Healthier U" fall reentry plan for those visiting campus.
Buildings to be open to visitors include the Auburn Arena, the Auburn University Bookstore, the Student Center and Samford Hall.
Spring 2020 graduates have already received their Auburn diplomas as well as a commemorative gift box in the mail. The box included their mortarboard and tassel, copies of the planned commencement program, an alumni pin, a gameday button and a copy of the Auburn Creed. Summer graduates will receive their diplomas and a similar commemorative box in August, according to the University.
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