California Baptist University’s Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies have been postponed because of the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, and students are now dealing with this unexpected change in plans to their senior year.
CBU’s Executive Council sent out an email March 16 with the news that commencement ceremonies had been postponed from April 28-29 to Aug. 19-20. The ceremonies will follow the Summer 2020 graduation ceremonies, set for Aug. 18.
“At first it was hard to comprehend the seriousness of the virus, but it all became reality when graduation was postponed,” said Megan Hudson, senior biomedical engineering major. “With graduation being postponed it has taken away the excitement of graduation with my family, celebrating the end of the year successes with friends and my cheer family.”
One fear among a lot of college seniors was that they were going to cancel the graduation ceremony altogether.
“I was hoping CBU would just postpone commencement and not cancel it altogether. When I received the email I was very relieved. I feel for other institutions like (the University of California, Los Angeles) who won’t have a graduation ceremony in person,” said William Campos, senior sociology major. “I understand that these are trying times but having a virtual graduation ceremony would be devastating for me.”
Juli Mory, director of University Commencement, said CBU wanted to do everything in its power to not cancel graduation altogether.
“The administration felt that this was such an important event for those graduating that we should do all we can to hold ceremonies. This is a culmination of so much work, time and effort and graduation allows our students, families and friends to celebrate this wonderful accomplishment,” Mory said. “CBU was unwavering in its commitment to hold commencement ceremonies whenever possible. The deciding factor of postponing commencement was when the Riverside Department of County Health mandated that all Riverside County schools closed until at least June 19, 2020.”
There are mixed emotions among the students when it comes to commencement being postponed.
“Although I am sad that graduation is postponed, I am grateful that the proper actions were taken to put the health and safety of our people first, which is the most important thing,” Hudson said.
Although commencement will be held in August, students will receive their diplomas before the ceremony.
“The posting date for spring graduates is May 4, 2020. The registrar’s office will begin mailing out diplomas once the degrees have been posted,” Mory said.