Alabama A&M cancels fall commencement ceremony due to spike in coronavirus cases

The ceremony was scheduled for Friday, Dec. 11.

Posted: Dec 1, 2020 6:59 PM
Updated: Dec 1, 2020 7:04 PM

Alabama A&M University is cancelling its traditional fall commencement ceremony due to the increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Huntsville and the entire state. 

The ceremony was scheduled for Friday, Dec. 11 in the Louis Crews Stadium.

An announcement from the university Tuesday evening said “Despite continuing to plan and making every attempt to create a safe environment for AAMU’s graduates and their families and all others involved in the ceremony (by celebrating graduating students’ achievements in accordance with all CDC, federal and state guidelines), it was later determined that this commencement, no matter how well-planned, would pose too much risk for the AAMU family and the community at-large.”

It says students will still be able to graduate if they’ve completed their degree requirements. They will have the opportunity to participate in the 2021 spring commencement ceremony.

You can read the full announcement below:

Alabama A&M University (AAMU) officials have cancelled its traditional in-person fall 2020 commencement ceremony this year due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Huntsville area and throughout the State of Alabama. The ceremony was due to be held on Friday, December 11, 2020, in the Louis Crews Stadium.

Despite continuing to plan and making every attempt to create a safe environment for AAMU’s graduates and their families and all others involved in the ceremony (by celebrating graduating students’ achievements in accordance with all CDC, federal and state guidelines), it was later determined that this commencement, no matter how well-planned, would pose too much risk for the AAMU family and the community at-large.

The decision was made to cancel the ceremony by AAMU leadership in consultation with Dr. Latesha Elopre, assistant professor, Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Graduate Medical Education, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and after considering federal, state and county COVID-19 guidelines and the record number of COVID-19 cases, both in Alabama and other parts of the country.

Students will still be able to officially graduate as long as they have completed their degree requirements. Graduates expected to walk in the December ceremony will have the opportunity to participate in tandem with 2021 Spring Graduates at the AAMU Spring 2021 Commencement. University officials are also considering options for recognizing the academic accomplishments of this semester’s graduates and those details are forthcoming.

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