Ball State University President Geoff Mearns revealed tentative plans and dates for postponed commencement ceremonies in a campus-wide email announcement Wednesday.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced Ball State to cancel all face-to-face classes. Plans for the May commencement ceremony are also up in the air.

“I’m disappointed,” said senior Jack Sather. “My parents would have liked the photo-op. What’s really affecting me is online classes that weren’t designed to be online. The whole thing is burning me out. With that said, if there is a commencement in July I may go, but by October I will be in graduate school at Syracuse.”

Mearns says he sought input on how to proceed with graduation through an online survey sent to seniors, parents and community members.

In this update, Mearns announced plans to combine the May 2020 commencement with the scheduled July 18, 2020 commencement. 

“Many survey respondents expressed their preference to reschedule our Spring Commencement ceremony to coincide with our Summer Commencement ceremony on Saturday, July 18,” Mearns said in the email. “The task force is evaluating the feasibility of this option, and I encourage you to hold this date on your calendar.”

There is a possibility that it will still not be possible to have large gatherings in July. An additional date of Oct. 10 could be used for a combined spring and summer commencement. 

“As far as graduation is concerned, if there is one later in the year I would consider going,” said senior Logan Lewis. “I won’t be doing any virtual graduation if that is what Ball State plans to do.“

Mearns said all graduating seniors who have their commencement cancelled or postponed will be able to participate in future ceremonies. 

Graduating students will still be able to receive their diplomas through the mail during this time and can then take part in a ceremony when appropriate.