Boise State University says it is “reimagining” spring commencement, as the coronavirus pandemic is forcing the university to cancel the traditional ceremony.
“I can only imagine the disappointment the timing of this worldwide disruption has caused you, and I am genuinely sorry for the loss of this significant event,” Boise State President Marlene Tromp said in a video message to students. ”Commencement is my favorite day of the year. It is the culmination of your incredible work and one of the most fundamental objectives of the university.”
Boise State, Idaho’s largest university, was the last state institution to cancel commencement. The event had been scheduled for May 9.
Like other colleges and universities, Boise State is looking at other ways to honor its Class of 2020.
First, the university will host a digital ceremony in May. “Updates, opportunities for engagement and other information will be sent to the graduates and their families over the next several weeks,” Boise State said Wednesday.
Second, Boise State will invite May graduates back to campus in December to take part in fall commencement ceremonies.
Boise State’s commencement announcement comes in the wake of two other coronavirus-related developments on the campus.
Last week, Boise State announced several measures designed to slow the spread of the virus. The university postponed or canceled other spring campus events, closed buildings to the general public and said it would close dormitories while accommodating students who had no place else to move.
On Friday, Boise State reported its first positive coronavirus case, involving a staffer. That prompted the university to close the campus to the public.