ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Central Florida has canceled all graduation ceremonies and moved classes online for the remainder of the semester in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.
The university’s interim president, Thad Seymour Jr., Ph.D., announced the cancellations Tuesday night, one day after President Donald Trump laid out new guidelines for mass gatherings, recommending people avoid gathering in groups of 10 or more.
“Based on additional direction from the Board of Governors today, we will be canceling our commencement ceremonies scheduled for April 30 through May 2,” a release from the university said. “This is sad and disappointing news, but we recognize that these ceremonies could not move forward given the social distancing requirements. We understand that commencement ceremonies are a major milestone in the lives of our graduates and the loved ones who have supported them on their educational journey.”
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Seymour said the university is looking into the possibility of celebrating spring graduates sometime in the future but no decision has been reached yet.
In the meantime, students will be refunded by the vendor for their caps and gowns, Seymour said. Click here for more information on reimbursements.
According to Seymour, the Florida Board of Governors has directed UCF and other state universities to extend their online learning period through the remainder of the semester.
Seymour said the university will notify students and faculty members about campus operations in the coming weeks as more information becomes available. The university’s guidelines for working remotely will also be updated to reflect any changes.
“This continues to be a quickly changing and evolving situation, and I am so thankful for everyone across campus — from our students to our staff to each of our faculty members — who are working together to make our community a place that prioritizes safety and each other’s well-being," Seymour said.
No decisions have been made yet about summer terms, university officials said.