Ball State evaluates postponement of spring, summer commencements

<p>Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns speaks to the new graduates Dec. 14, 2019, at the John E. Worthen Arena. &nbsp;In his closing remarks to the students, he said he wished them good luck and god-speed. <strong>Charles Melton, DN</strong></p>

Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns speaks to the new graduates Dec. 14, 2019, at the John E. Worthen Arena.  In his closing remarks to the students, he said he wished them good luck and god-speed. Charles Melton, DN

Following Ball State's decision to postpone the spring commencement ceremonies, President Geoffrey Mearns suggested two alternatives for holding the ceremonies based on suggestions received from a campus-wide survey.

RELATED: Ball State seniors reflect on cancellation of May commencement and abrupt end to school

Mearns said in his email, a clear majority of the more than 4,000 respondents to the survey preferred that an in-person ceremony, as opposed to a virtual ceremony, to recognize the spring 2020 graduates.

Many survey respondents expressed their preference to reschedule the May 2020 ceremony to coincide with the university's summer commencement ceremony July 18, he said. His task force is evaluating the feasibility of this option.

However, based on the guidance the university receives from local and state officials, Ball State may not be able to host a large event in July, Mearns said. Therefore, it is evaluating whether to schedule both the spring and summer commencements Oct.10.

He said all graduates whose commencement exercises have been postponed will be able to participate in a future ceremony, as soon as it is safe to do so. The university will continue to award degrees when they are earned and graduating students will receive their diplomas by mail.

"I look forward to the day when we can welcome our graduating students and their families back to campus to celebrate the successful culmination of their sacrifices and their hard work," Mearns said.

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