Auburn University, the University of Alabama and many Birmingham-area colleges and universities have canceled spring commencement ceremonies and have decided to continue online courses during summer in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Samford University announced Friday that summer courses will be moved to online instruction and commencement plans for May have been postponed.
“We remain committed to celebrating these graduates with an in-person ceremony in the future. For students who complete their academic programs in spring 2020, degrees will be conferred as scheduled. Diplomas will be produced as usual and there will be no changes to the availability of transcripts,” said Samford media relations manager Sarah Cain.
All university-sponsored international programs and travel are also canceled through Aug. 10. See details of Samford’s plan.
Commencement ceremonies also have been canceled at Birmingham-Southern College and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“We’re postponing commencement and related ceremonies (baccalaureate, Honors Day and capping) until we can have these celebrations on campus, as soon as it is safe to have large gatherings,” said media director Amy Abeyta of Birmingham-Southern College. “We will be offering online courses this summer.”
At UAB, graduates will get a second chance to hear “Pomp and Circumstances.” Graduates will have the opportunity to walk in future ceremonies, but they will need to register for them, said media specialist Adam Pope.
“We are deeply disappointed that our graduating Blazers will not experience a traditional commencement this spring, but we will do everything we can to recognize and celebrate your accomplishments.
“There are several commencement ceremonies each spring, and details of each virtual/alternative commencement will be communicated in the coming days and weeks.
“This announcement is being made now to best accommodate the logistics of graduating students and their families, as well as campus departments,” Pope said.
University of Alabama President Stuart R. Bell said spring commencement at Tuscaloosa will not be held as scheduled.
“We are actively exploring and hope to provide alternative means of recognizing the significant achievements of graduates and students earning honors, but it is too early to make those plans firm,” Bell said.
Interim and summer education abroad classes at UA are canceled.
Spring commencement is canceled at Auburn University, and the schools plans to combine spring and summer commencement ceremonies on Aug. 8 and 9.
Summer classes will be done remotely and all study abroad programs are canceled.
Geri Albright of Birmingham’s Lawson State Community College said commencement exercises have been canceled and officials are reviewing a way to recognize the graduates at a later date.
“For summer, we will hold virtual-learning classes, and we are considering ground classes, but due to the uncertainty of circumstances, we are not sure yet if we will offer ground classes,” Albright said.
Jefferson State Community College will postpone the 2020 commencement ceremony, which had been set for May 1. Officials said in a release that this was a difficult decision because the ceremony represents the culmination of hard work, sacrifice and growth. But the coronavirus crisis made the decision unavoidable.
Alternate plans being considered for spring commencement may include a virtual ceremony and a rescheduled in-person ceremony. The college is monitoring the situation closely and will provide additional details as soon as a determination has been made, according to the school website.