• Julia Bidelman

MIAA Colleges Cancel Commencement


On Thursday, April 2, Provost Maria Davis announced that Olivet College will be postponing the date of the 2020 Commencement due to COVID-19.

In the school-wide email, Davis said, “The health and well-being of our students, their family members, and friends, as well as that of our faculty and staff, remains at the forefront of our minds.”

Davis also said that even if Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were to lift the stay-at-home order, the college does not believe that it would be a good idea to hold an on-campus event with 1,500 people or more at this time.

To make sure seniors and their families are still able to attend this event the college has been working with Student Government Association representatives and senior class advisors Professors Sarah Peterson and Blake Reed to plan either an in-person commencement at a later date, or a virtual campus celebration.

Nicole Baker, assistant dean for Academic Records said, a committee has been formed to decide how to move forward with commencement and other related activities and events. Baker also said, “Provost Maria Davis has been steering this committee and I know they have met a few times, and they will make the best decision possible in regards, to our students and staff.”

Olivet College is not the only MIAA college that has had to cancel commencement.

According to Albion College’s website, Albion.edu, its commencement was supposed to take place on Saturday, May 2.

A statement featured on the college’s website says:

“Congratulations, Class of 2020! Due to the continuing situation surrounding the coronavirus and COVID-19, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance urging the avoidance of large gatherings into at least early May, the 2020 Commencement Exercises scheduled for May 2 have been postponed. The event will be rescheduled, and that date will be announced promptly and widely when it is in place.”

Trine University also cancelled its commencement on the morning of Friday, April 3. A Cancellations and Postponements page on Trine’s website states “Commencement, scheduled for May 2, has been canceled. Trine will host a Senior Celebration for the Class of 2020 at Homecoming, which will take place Oct. 9-11. Members of the Class of 2020 also will be invited to participate in an expanded fall graduation ceremony on Dec. 12.”

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