Because of COVID-19, group gatherings have been impossible to attend. DSU decided to move its spring 2020 graduation ceremony to Dec. 11. Photo courtesy of Monique Chavez.
Ready, set, graduate –– or maybe not…
The 2020 commencement ceremony has been postponed to Dec. 11.
The move to postpone Dixie State University’s commencement ceremony was no easy decision, said President Richard “Biff” Williams. The decision was decided by Gov. Gary Herbert and the State Board of Regents.
“Due to the directive of no mass gatherings, we didn’t have a choice [but] to cancel the May 5 date,” Williams said.
A survey was sent out asking students if they wanted a postponed ceremony or a virtual ceremony. Less than half of graduates said they would attend an in-person postponed ceremony.
Provost Michael Lacourse, vice president of academic affairs, said, “About 25% of graduates replied they would attend a ceremony held next fall.”
Williams said he thinks the December commencement seems to work best with everything else DSU has planned.
“A date in August was considered, but we worried travel restrictions wouldn’t be lifted,” Williams said. “We also considered a commencement at homecoming and that was difficult to schedule with all of the other events.”
Graduates from December 2019 through and Fall 2020 are able to partake in the postponed ceremony, Williams said.
People are still concerned about whether or not family and friends will be able to attend the ceremony.
Lacourse said, “We are excited to provide the same commencement experience that students would have experienced this spring and believe we will have excellent participation.”
Another big concern for graduates is if students will still be close to the area to attend the postponed commencement.
Brett Coleman, a senior communication studies major from Midway, said he isn’t sure if he expects a big turn out for commencement, and for him personally, it will depend on where a job will take him.
“My plan right now is to be able to attend the graduation,” Coleman said. “It will depend on what happens for me with a job post-graduation.”
Williams said he recognizes the commencement ceremony not being ideal for everyone.
“There was no perfect solution that would meet everyone’s needs,” Williams said.
While moving commencement may make it harder for graduates, family and friends to attend, the priority is keeping everyone healthy.
“Having commencement moved means [DSU] and President Williams truly have the love and care to keep us safe,” Coleman said.
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