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November 23, 2020

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Coronavirus prompts WCU to postpone May commencement ceremonies

CULLOWHEE – In response to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, Western Carolina University is postponing all spring commencement ceremonies originally scheduled for May 8 and 9, and will announce by April 3 plans for rescheduling the events.

The decision to postpone commencement ceremonies was made after consultation with faculty and student leaders, WCU Chancellor Kelli R. Brown said.

Students who complete all academic requirements for graduation at the end of the spring semester will be awarded their degrees and will be able to request official transcripts after all degrees have been certified by the WCU registrar.

In addition, university leaders do not expect face-to-face classes to resume before the end of the spring semester, and students should plan to continue online or alternative instruction as directed by their professors through May 8.

Decisions about summer courses and activities beyond study-abroad programs, which already have been canceled, will be announced by April 3.

“I completely understand that commencement is a deeply meaningful event for our students and their families. I realize that postponing these ceremonies will disappoint our students who have worked toward this goal for so many years and their family members who have supported them,” Brown said. “But the health and safety of all members of our campus community must be our top priority. We must do all that we can to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, and postponing large-scale events such as commencement is one of the things that we can do.”

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