As we all face the disappointments and threats caused by COVID-19, please know that the seemingly insurmountable difficulties we are facing do have an end and that each of us should be encouraged by the hope before us.
The accumulated risk to staff and faculty involved in so many ceremonies over many days, combined with the severe restrictions on students and guests before, during and after the ceremonies, has led us to this alternative: to have in-person ceremonies for everyone once COVID-19 subsides and to also celebrate each student in virtual ceremonies at the time they graduate.
At the University of Florida, we have one statue of a UF president, Albert Murphree, who was our second president. We have three statues of Heisman Trophy winners: Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow. And we have many, many statues of alligators.
Several years ago at another university, I met with the faculty members in one of the university’s colleges. I was responsible for leading the search for the college’s next dean, and I wanted to hear the faculty’s input on the search.