UF will not host an in-person graduation ceremony for Fall 2020 graduates.
In an email to undergraduates who applied for Fall graduation, Stephanie McBride, UF’s Director of Commencements, cited the State University System’s memorandum Wednesday directing state universities to shift to alternate formats for ceremonies in the Fall.
“Please know we are committed to rescheduling in-person ceremonies when we are able to safely do so,” McBride wrote. “Though we cannot say when that time will be, you will be invited to participate in those ceremonies.”
Graduates will be able to participate in virtual ceremonies throughout the original weekend, currently set for Dec. 18-20. Caps and gowns will be available starting Oct. 1, McBride wrote.
In the memorandum, the State University System cited the ongoing health restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for the cancellation.
“While we understand the disappointment this may cause, universities were creative in their spring and summer commencement festivities, and each of them found ways to celebrate their graduates and their achievements,” the statement read. “We are confident that the fall graduates will be equally celebrated.”
This follows months of uncertainty on previous and future graduation ceremonies. UF had indefinitely postponed the Spring and Summer 2020 commencements due to COVID-19, but issued no word for the Fall until now.
UF President Kent Fuchs committed last week to virtual ceremonies throughout 2020.
“Our tradition is that every student be personally recognized, and it's likely we won't do that ever in person during 2020,” Fuchs said. “We promise that, when COVID is gone, we're going to have in-person ceremonies and we're going to welcome them all back.”