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Alaska News

University of Alaska cancels spring commencement ceremonies

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: March 16, 2020
  • Published March 16, 2020

Honors College grad Nyabony Gat, B.S. Health Sciences, is applauded by faculty as she and other grads leave the arena after UAA's 2019 Spring Commencement at the Alaska Airlines Center. (Photo by James Evans / UAA)

The University of Alaska canceled spring commencement ceremonies Monday, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in a written statement announcing the move.

“In consultation with the chancellors, and following very clear federal guidance discouraging travel and limiting public gatherings to no more than 10 people for the next three months, the university regrettably must cancel all commencement ceremonies across the system set for this spring,” the statement said in part. Its ceremonies were scheduled to be held in May.

The statement relies on a message from the White House, which on Monday said that Americans should not gather in groups of 10 or more people.

The university system said individual campuses will develop alternative plans at a local level. The written statement also encourages “small family celebrations after the semester is complete.”

The cancellations come days after Alaska Pacific University canceled its commencement events, scheduled in April.