University of Maryland Plans to Honor Graduating Class Despite Cancelling Spring Commencement

The University of Maryland’s President Wallace Loh announced this morning in a schoolwide email that the school is working on planning an in-person or virtual commencement for the graduating class of 2020.

This comes after President Loh wrote in a campus letter last week that there would not be an in-person spring 2020 commencement ceremony.

“Canceling the May 22nd ceremony was heartbreaking, and I want to assure the Class of 2020 that the University will do its utmost to honor and celebrate your academic success with an in-person ceremony, so that your family, friends, professors, and staff can share in this joyous occasion,” wrote Loh. “We are also exploring producing a virtual celebration to commemorate May 22nd.”

In his email, Loh emphasized that the chancellor of the University System of Maryland had announced that USM institutions would not hold in-person commencement ceremonies in spring 2020. The chancellor’s response was in compliance with Gov. Larry Hogans March 12th order, which stated that events with more than 250 people would be prohibited until the state of emergency proclamation rescinded.

According to Loh, the commencement ceremony has had one of the most regrettable impacts due to the coronavirus.

“There is no academic ceremony that I cherish more than congratulating graduates on their receipt of a UMD diploma, and bidding them Godspeed as they commence the next chapter of their lives,” wrote Loh.

Provost Mary Ann Rankin is leading the planning on commencement and gathering input from graduating students, according to Loh. UMD expects to announce their plans within a couple of weeks.

In addition to his announcement about commencement, Loh expressed his apologies over the disruption in which the UMD community has endured this semester.

“I appreciate the sacrifices you have made and the solidarity you have shown during this public health crisis,” wrote Loh. “Please continue to keep in your thoughts and prayers the members of our community who have been infected, or are at risk of being infected, by this virus.”


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