Commencement 2020 Update

April 21, 2020
Kim A. Wilcox
April 21, 2020

Dear UCR Community,
As announced on April 3, 2020, I asked the Commencement Working Group to convene and discuss our existing plans for this year’s graduation activities in light of Riverside County’s extended school closure order. Last week the Working Group submitted to me three recommendations that apply to all graduates except those in the School of Medicine, which will have an online graduation ceremony on May 29th:
1.    Postpone in-person Commencement 2020 events until it is safe to reschedule them.
2.    Hold online June 2020 celebrations.
3.    Communicate approved recommendations to students and their families in a timely manner (approximately 3 months for the in-person ceremonies when rescheduled) so that they can plan accordingly.
Honoring the spirit of the third recommendation, I write to announce that in-person commencement ceremonies previously scheduled for May and June of this year are being postponed until they can be safely rescheduled. We will continue to follow guidelines established by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and abide by orders from California Governor Gavin Newsom and the Riverside County Public Health Officer.
Student leaders on the Working Group engaged with their respective undergraduate and graduate constituencies to discuss their hopes and goals for the online celebrations: recognizing their accomplishments, creating a sense of community, and enabling graduates to acknowledge those who supported their success.
The creative staff members who organize commencement each year are evaluating technology platforms that will meet those criteria, and details will be announced soon. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to more than 3,000 students, faculty and staff who made their voices heard through the Working Group’s survey.
I thank Working Group co-chairs Vice Chancellor Brian Haynes and Dean Kathryn Uhrich, and the students, faculty, staff, and administrators who ensured that this important decision was informed by thoughtful conversation and sound data.
I look forward to the point where we can welcome our community back to campus, where the quiet and solitude belie the energy of a typical spring quarter filled with excitement for completing yet another academic year. Please stay healthy and take care of yourself and those you love.