Education

How Local Colleges Are Handling Commencement During the Coronavirus Crisis

A running list of Boston schools that have canceled, postponed, or replaced their commencement ceremonies because of the coronavirus.


Harvard photo via AP/Charles Kroupa, Boston College photo by Alyssa Vaughn, “Tufts University” by Ian Kennedy on Flickr/Creative Commons

Boston College: May 18

Photo via Getty Images

Status: Indefinite. “At this time, due to COVID-19, a decision has not yet been made regarding the 144th Commencement Exercises.”

Boston University: May 17

Boston University

Photo by Olga Khvan

Status: Indefinite. “The decision regarding Commencement will be made no later than mid-April.”

Brandeis University: May 17

Photo via AP/Josh Reynolds

Status: Cancelled. In a letter to the Brandeis community, president Ron Liebowitz said that while the traditional ceremony will be cancelled, community members are welcome to share their ideas for a reimagining of the celebration.

Emerson College: May 9 & 10

Status: Indefinite. The EVVYs award show and gala, a beloved annual year-end tradition at the college, have been cancelled, but a decision has yet to be made about commencement.

Harvard University: May 28

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Status: Postponed indefinitely. “No virtual gathering can possibly match the splendor of our usual festivities, but we will come together online on Thursday, May 28, to award degrees so that everyone will graduate as expected. Each School at Harvard will also host its own special online event and afterwards deliver diplomas through the mail. We plan to host an in-person celebration sometime later, once we know it is safe to bring people together again.”

MIT: May 28 & 29

Status: Indefinite. No decision has yet been made on the ceremonies, but the university has suspended regalia orders.

Northeastern University: May 1

A brick wall with the Northeastern University name and crest

Photo by Alex Lau

Status: Cancelled. President Joseph E. Aoun wrote in a letter to the campus community that graduates will instead convene for an “interactive virtual ceremony,” to be followed by special gatherings for graduates and their families across the world “when we are once again able to meet face-to-face, hand-to-hand.”

Tufts University: May 17

Photo by Kelvin Ma, Tufts University Photography

Status: Indefinite. “The administration will continually monitor this rapidly changing situation. We will keep you informed as we have additional announcements regarding Commencement-related events.”

UMass Amherst: May 8

Status: Postponed indefinitely. “This decision was made with a heavy heart, knowing what a seminal moment this day is in the lives of our students, their families, and the entire UMass community,” Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy wrote in a letter. “Unfortunately, at this point, with so much uncertainty about when life will return to normal, I cannot give you a definitive answer for how and when we will honor our graduates, but I can assure you that we will.”

Wellesley College: May 31

Status: Indefinite. “Wellesley sincerely hopes to be able to hold Commencement as planned. Due to the rapidly evolving situation in the U.S. and abroad, the College is monitoring developments and expects to make a decision by early May.”