Daniel Zhao, Senior Photographer

University President Peter Salovey announced in a University-wide email on Wednesday afternoon that the 2020 commencement exercises, previously scheduled for May, will no longer occur as planned.

The announcement came in the wake of mass event cancellations and lockdowns for much of the United States and for other countries, in a global effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. In his email, Salovey wrote that the University will find  “alternative ways” to celebrate the class of 2020’s achievements this May.

“I know you have been following the news around the world closely,” Salovey wrote. “To continue to do our part to end the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot come together in May to commemorate commencement activities in the traditional ways. However, know that we will be welcoming you back to campus to celebrate your achievements when this crisis is behind us.” 

Salovey added that Secretary and Vice President for University Life Kimberly Goff-Crews will reach out to students soon with updated plans. 

Other universities around the country have taken similar measures, either cancelling or postponing graduation ceremonies until the threat of COVID-19 dies down. For example, the University of Pennsylvania scheduled virtual commencement for May and postponed in-person celebrations until it is safe to hold them, and Brown University announced on Tuesday that its own exercises would be postponed.

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.

Valerie Pavilonis | valerie.pavilonis@yale.edu