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Spring 2020 Commencement Announcements

March 25, 2020

Graduating students,

As a follow-up to President Marrero’s email last week about alternative options for commencement, we are excited to let you know about some plans we are developing to celebrate your graduation.

We know the past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster as you try to finish out your last semester while navigating an unprecedented and challenging time. We shared in your profound disappointment about the need to cancel our commencement ceremonies following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to avoid large gatherings.

Nevertheless, we remain committed to properly recognizing your spectacular achievement. Here is what we are planning right now:

  • A virtual ceremony on May 8 & 9, 2020, the dates of our originally scheduled commencement ceremonies. We plan to create a memorable experience that recognizes each graduate in a personal way. We will organize each ceremony by college and make it available live online for graduates, friends and family members anywhere in the world. We might even have a surprise or two. Look for more information very soon.
  • A rescheduled in-person ceremony is being planned for all students who were scheduled to walk across the stage in May. Our plan is to again schedule ceremonies in Savannah and in Statesboro. Unfortunately, we cannot finalize a date until the situation normalizes, but we are committed to setting a date for students to walk.
  • The December 2020 commencement ceremonies will be open to any student from the Spring who would like to participate in a regularly scheduled graduation. The December graduation ceremonies are scheduled for Dec. 11 and 12.

Even though we are providing alternative options for our students to walk across the stage, Georgia Southern is still refunding the graduation fee for each student who made their payment for the Spring semester. A full schedule of refunds was emailed to all students on March 24, 2020.

Many have also asked about the regalia you have ordered. Those are symbols of your academic achievement and should be cherished. We are making plans to mail regalia to each student who has already placed their order with Herff Jones. We would also like to create an online photobook of all our graduates this year. Stay tuned for more details. 

Through all of these challenges, Georgia Southern remains focused on student success. We are here for each one of you and want you to continue to reach out for help if and when you need it. Eagle Nation may not all be gathered together on our campuses at the moment, but we are all still connected in our vision — people, purpose, action: growing ourselves to grow others.

Stay healthy and safe, and we will continue to keep you informed.

Go Eagles!

March 18, 2020

Dear Georgia Southern faculty, staff and students,

In our continuing effort to keep you informed of developments as soon as possible, we wanted to pass along the latest direction from the University System of Georgia.

The University System of Georgia (USG) has directed all 26 USG institutions to cancel Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies. Students will still graduate consistent with academic standards, but the actual ceremonies will not be held as originally scheduled.

The USG continues to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people.

“We don’t make this decision lightly, nor do we want to diminish all our students have achieved,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “Our institutions are working on creative, alternative ways to celebrate their students’ accomplishments, and I am grateful for the commitment and dedication our students have shown in the face of extraordinary times. They have worked hard and rightfully expect to celebrate and mark their graduation.”

This announcement follows a statement from President Kyle Marrero earlier today.

“As a follow-up to our initial announcement of spring commencement ceremony cancellation, we know that this decision is profoundly disappointing for many of our graduates and their families,” Marrero said. “This decision was made in adherence to CDC and DPH guidance that all University System of Georgia institutions are following. During these unprecedented and challenging times, the safety and well-being of our students remains our top priority. As an update, our commencement committee met this morning, and we are working on a plan for alternative options to celebrate our students’ achievements. All options are on the table, including rescheduling, and we will communicate the plan out as soon as possible.”

March 18, 2020

Statement from President Marrero on cancellation of scheduled commencement ceremonies on May 8 & 9:

As a follow-up to our initial announcement of spring commencement ceremony cancellation, we know that this decision is profoundly disappointing for many of our graduates and their families. This decision was made in adherence to CDC and DPH guidance that all University System of Georgia institutions are following. During these unprecedented and challenging times, the safety and well-being of our students remains our top priority. As an update, our commencement committee met this morning, and we are working on a plan for alternative options to celebrate our students’ achievements. All options are on the table, including rescheduling, and we will communicate the plan out as soon as possible.  

March 17, 2020

Georgia Southern Faculty, Staff, Students, and Families:

As we manage this ever-changing situation with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), our primary goal is to protect students, faculty, and staff. One of the most important preventative measures is to avoid having people in large groups as advised by the Georgia Department of Public Health and the CDC. 

Accordingly, we unfortunately need to cancel all public events to include our planned commencement exercises on May 8 & 9. Students will still be able to graduate, consistent with academic standards, but the actual spring ceremony will be cancelled. We are beginning discussions now on what options we might still have to celebrate our graduates’ accomplishments. We are exploring all options including rescheduling. Updates will be made available as they are confirmed