Concordia University Wisconsin announced on March 27 that the Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremony would be canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Universities and colleges throughout Wisconsin have been forced to either cancel or postpone their graduation ceremonies. Some, like UW-Madison, are hosting virtual ceremonies until a new event can be planned when the current health crisis subsides. For many students, this is a devastating change of plans.
“I didn’t really have much of an initial reaction because I already braced myself for it being canceled. I just didn’t brace myself for the alternative solution, that part was heartbreaking,” CUW senior Gina Cuccio said.
In a virtual letter addressed to the spring 2020 graduates, CUW administration extended the invitation for graduates to receive in-person recognition during the December 2020 ceremony. Tre Hickem, a senior at Concordia and resident of Arizona, does not believe this is a good alternative.
“What if I had a full time job that just accepted me and I can’t make it next December? What if I don’t live anywhere close to CUW and I can’t make it? Then I won’t be able to experience the fun of graduation,” Hickem said.
Many soon-to-be-graduates are doubtful whether or not they will be able to attend the December ceremony. This is due, in part, to the fact that many do not yet know where their career paths will take them.
“I honestly don’t think many students from the class of 2020 will attend the December graduation,” Cuccio said. “Most students will have already moved away and will not want to make the trek back in the snow, or they will have already started new jobs, at which point it seems futile to backtrack to the feeling of college again.”
Both Cuccio and Hickem agree that Concordia was right in canceling the May ceremony due to safety concerns. However, they both feel the university should have considered postponing it until later in the summer.
For more information regarding the decision to cancel CUW’s Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremony, click here.
Written by Christian Dufresne.