Youngstown State University postponed May’s commencement ceremony. This decision was made as a precaution to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to Jackie LeViseur, director of campus events, the postponed graduation ceremony is anticipated for late summer. The location and size of commencement will depend on numerous factors.
YSU President Jim Tressel said graduates will be granted their degrees on May 9 and their diplomas will be mailed soon after.
LeViseur said the university reached out to students and the Academic Senate on having a virtual commencement when making the decision.
“They decided that this is a highpoint, and we want students to be together,” she said.
Commencement was originally planned for May 9, but the Centers for Disease Control currently recommends people to not congregate in groups larger than 50 for the next two months.
Tressel said in an email to the YSU community that the spring commencement “regularly attracts in excess of 5,000 family members and friends.”
Anthony Nakley, a senior finance major, said as a third generation Penguin, he has been looking forward to graduating from YSU since he was three years old.
In Nakley’s opinion, there could be many problems that arise from postponing commencement, such as seniors moving back home, starting new jobs or being unable to attend the ceremony.
“I do appreciate the effort to make this momentous occasion a reality. A silver lining, if any, is that a summer commencement will have a less likely chance of rain or cancelation,” he said.
The spring semester graduates more students than the fall or summer semesters, resulting in two separate ceremonies. This year’s spring commencement was the first time both ceremonies would have been combined into one celebration in Stambaugh Stadium.
The Jambar will have continued coverage on how this will impact YSU seniors and their final weeks as college students.