As a further precaution against the coronavirus pandemic, UCSB has decided to postpone its annual commencement ceremonies and a virtual ceremony will take its place on the second weekend of June, according to a memo UCSB Chancellor Yang sent to the campus on Thursday.
After careful consideration of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s indefinite stay-at-home order and Santa Barbara County’s plea for social distancing, the university believed a gathering as large as commencement poses too much of a public health risk to the community.
“We know that this decision is a tremendous disappointment to our graduates, who for years have devoted themselves to reaching this milestone and have looked forward with great anticipation to the celebration that would mark their academic accomplishment,” Chancellor Yang said in the memo.
“And we know it is just as disappointing to the families and friends who have supported our students in their scholarly endeavors, and for whom commencement represents a shared and equally important achievement.”
The virtual ceremony will allow UCSB to recognize the achievements of graduating students at the end of spring quarter, which moved to remote instruction earlier this month. That said, the university will also welcome all the 2020 graduates and their families back to campus for an in-person ceremony when it is safe to do so.
“From our consultation with students and parents, and from the countless messages we have received, we are reminded just how important commencement is for our students and their families,” the memo read. “It is just as important to us. Each of our graduates is special and carries a unique story of triumph.
“This is why we thought it necessary to share our current thinking with our community now, and to affirm our commitment to hosting an event on campus when the situation allows.”