Topics: President, Commencement, COVID-19

September 10, 2020

I write to provide an update about plans for our Commencement Exercises for the graduating classes of 2020.

Last Spring, I announced that we would plan to hold our Spring and Summer Commencement Exercises on Saturday, October 10. Due to the ongoing risk of COVID-19, and the state’s extended guidelines, which continue to prohibit social gatherings larger than 250 people, it is no longer feasible for us to hold Commencement ceremonies on that date. In order to enable people to make appropriate plans, I have also decided to postpone our December 2020 Commencement ceremony.

I know that this news is disappointing. I regret that the circumstances of this public health crisis have forced us to postpone all in-person celebrations of our 2020 graduates and their achievements. Unfortunately, we are facing an unprecedented challenge that, for months, has required us to make difficult decisions that have resulted in many sacrifices.

I am cautiously optimistic that we will be able to resume recognizing our Spring graduates in person in May 2021. At this time, we will welcome back to campus any members of our graduating classes of 2020 who want to participate in the May ceremony—or any future Commencement ceremonies—so they can be formally recognized and celebrate the successful culmination of their sacrifices and their hard work.

In the meantime, we will continue to award degrees when they are earned, and all students who graduate this year will continue to receive their diplomas by mail.

Thank you once again for your patience and your understanding as we navigate these challenging times together.


Geoffrey S. Mearns
Ball State University