Yale University announced on Wednesday that it is canceling its annual spring commencement ceremony, scheduled for May, as a precautionary measure against the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
In a press release published on the Yale University website, Yale President Peter Salovey argued that it would not be safe for the community to gather for a commencement ceremony in May. Salovey did, however, mention that graduating students will be invited back to campus in the future for a celebratory event.
I know you have been following the news around the world closely. To continue to do our part to end the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot come together in May to commemorate commencement activities in the traditional ways. However, know that we will be welcoming you back to campus to celebrate your achievements when this crisis is behind us. In the meantime, we will find alternative ways to honor your hard work this May. Secretary and Vice President for University Life Kimberly Goff-Crews will write to you in the coming days to share more planning details.
Salovey finished off his letter to the Yale community with a call for students to “fulfill” their “responsibilities to the common good.” Salovey argued that the pandemic has forced Americans to reconsider their obligation to care for one another.
We have an obligation that extends well beyond our campus community. However, even though we know this is what we must do, this news is no less disappointing. The expectations we had for spring have unraveled, but recent events remind us of the ways we are connected and that there come extraordinary times when we are impelled to take care of one another in a basic and profound way. The pandemic calls on each of us to think beyond our own expectations—and to look forward to brighter days to come, together. Thank you for your understanding and for all you are doing to fulfill our responsibilities to the common good.
Yale is not the first university to shut down their graduation ceremony in response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. Breitbart News reported this week that Harvard had canceled their on-campus commencement ceremony in favor of a virtual graduation stream that will take place on May 28. Other institutions, such as the University of Michigan and UC Irvine has similarly canceled their on-campus commencement events.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.