Message from President Killeen: Commencement Update
Dear students, parents, faculty, staff and friends:
We are very disappointed to share the news that commencement ceremonies will not take place as scheduled in May at our universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Diplomas will be mailed, and we are exploring possible alternatives such as rescheduling and/or hosting virtual events to honor the Class of 2020. You will hear more from leadership of your universities in the days and weeks to come.
This was an outcome we had hoped to avoid. Commencements reflect the very core of our mission and provide a richly deserved celebration for both our graduates and the proud parents, family, friends, faculty and staff who supported them along the way. Every year, ceremonies across the U of I System draw anywhere from a few hundred people at school- and college-based commencements to more than 20,000 at Urbana’s university-wide event.
Even small turnouts, however, would far exceed the guidance issued last weekend by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of the virus. The new guidelines call for cancelling or postponing all large gatherings for at least the next eight weeks – a timeline that brings us within days of our May commencements.
We know you share the goal of those restrictions – protecting yourselves and the well-being of your family, friends and the broader community, particularly the most vulnerable among us. We are proud of your sacrifice and your success, Class of 2020, and we promise we will find ways to honor your achievements.
Tim Killeen, President, University of Illinois System
Barbara J. Wilson, Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Illinois System
Robert J. Jones, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Michael D. Amiridis, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Susan J. Koch, Chancellor, University of Illinois at Springfield