Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns announced Friday in an email that the university will not hold its summer or spring commencement ceremonies on July 18.

Mearns said the university determined it was not feasible to accommodate the number of graduates and spectators expected to attend ceremonies on that date at the John E. Worthen Arena. Given the time of the year, he said it will be too uncomfortable to hold the ceremonies outdoors.

At this time, he said the university plans on hosting spring and summer commencement ceremonies on Oct. 10 and will send updates as more information is made available.

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

"As difficult as this decision is, safety remains our top priority," he said. "I appreciate your patience as we plan how best to honor our graduates while prioritizing the safety of our graduating students, their families, and their friends."