COVID-19 Concerns Prompt Cancellation of UH Mānoa Fall Commencement

November 6, 2020, 12:21 PM HST · Updated November 6, 12:21 PM
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PC: University of Hawaiʻi

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa announced today that it will not hold its traditional in-person fall 2020 commencement ceremony this year due to health concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ceremony is traditionally held in mid-December at the Stan Sheriff Center. The spring 2020 commencement ceremony was also canceled this year due to the pandemic.

“I am grateful to our campus community for everything they’ve accomplished in the face of this pandemic, especially our soon-to-be graduates,” said Provost Michael Bruno in an announcement to the campus. “This is, however, the best course of action as our top priority remains the health and well being of our students, their families, our employees and the larger community.”

The decision was made by campus leadership, in consultation with the UH Mānoa Health and Well-Being Working Group, after considering federal, state and county COVID-19 guidelines and the status of the pandemic. While the weekly average of reported COVID-19 cases in Hawaiʻi have dropped, many parts of the country and the world are currently experiencing a record surge, school administrators said.

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Students will still be able to officially graduate as long as they have completed their degree requirements. Graduates will receive their diplomas in the mail.

As with the spring semester, the UH Mānoa commencement website will mark fall commencement with videos of student speaker addresses; mahalo messages from students to family, friends, classmates and UH staff; and messages from UH Mānoa Provost Bruno, UH President David Lassner and other dignitaries. A printed commencement program will be available upon request.

Many individual schools and colleges are planning to hold virtual ceremonies. Graduates expected to walk in the December ceremony will have an opportunity to participate in a future in-person commencement.

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