After Loyola’s administration announced it would be delaying commencement due to the coronavirus outbreak, officials said Friday the school plans to hold the ceremonies from Aug. 8 to Aug. 12.
The ceremonies were originally planned for May 4 to May 9, according to Loyola’s commencement website.
The decision was made based on the guidance of public health officials and current projections, according to an email sent to Loyola students from school President Jo Ann Rooney and Provost Norberto Grzywacz.
All degrees will still be conferred in May or June as previously scheduled and diplomas will be mailed to graduating students, according to the email.
“Honoring our graduates is one of the highlights of our academic year,” the email said. “We witness the joy of goals achieved and celebrate the students with whom we have had the privilege of teaching, mentoring, and engaging. It is an exciting moment to walk with our graduates as they enter into our alumni community and go forth into the world.”
The university is still working the details out, including ways to virtually celebrate with graduating students who can’t make the event, officials said. A survey was sent to gauge students’ interest in attending the event, according to the email.
The plans are dependent on “favorable” COVID-19 conditions, according to the email, and the administration would provide updates as they become available.
As of March 24, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) confirmed 1,535 cases and 16 deaths as a result of COVID-19 — the disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus. 11,485 people had been tested.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order, effective until April 7. This decision orders non-essential businesses to close and people to work from home if they can, according to the governor.
Due to the severity of the spread of COVID-19, Loyola students were instructed to move out of campus dorms by March 19, The Phoenix reported. Classes are set to be held online for the rest of the semester.
University officials announced March 21 that a Loyola student tested positive for the virus, The Phoenix reported. The student is in isolation at home recuperating and hadn’t been on campus within 14 days of the school’s announcement.