The University of La Verne has officially postponed the 2020 Spring Commencement ceremonies until a future date, yet to be announced, when all may gather safely, President Devorah Lieberman announced by email Tuesday.
“We agree that the culmination of a student’s experience at the University of La Verne should be to have their name and degree announced as they walk across the stage in front of their families and friends,” Lieberman wrote in the message. “So we are committed to preserving that honor and tradition in a safe and responsible manner.”
Lieberman also hinted at a “commemorative surprise” that will honor the class of 2020’s achievement of graduating during hardships of the coronavirus pandemic.
Senior criminology major Jasmine Jancan is happy to hear that the commencement was not canceled.
“I was glad to see the email,” Jancan said. “I wanted it to be postponed. It made me happy that they’re not doing virtual too, because I was just really scared they were going to do it online.”
Considering the uncertainty as to when the COVID-19 pandemic will be contained to the point that such a large gathering will be safe, the scheduled date for the ceremonies has not been decided. Jancan believes she will still show up even if the postponement is many months.
“I would still show up,” Jancan said. “It would definitely be weird but I would still show up.”
Students who live out of state might find returning for commencement more challenging.
Senior liberal arts major Thomas Del Carmen had plans to return to his home in Guam after the originally scheduled May 29- 30 commencement ceremonies. Now that the ceremonies are rescheduled, Del Carmen said he isn’t certain he’ll be able to make it.
“Now that they are going to postpone it, whether or not I attend just depends on where I am,” Del Carmen said. “I’ll be 6,000 miles away. I am not going to just drop $2,000 to walk across a stage.”
Regardless of the decisions made so far, students like junior sociology major Melanie Gazazian are pleased to hear the University has communicated with students on this consequential matter.
“I am so glad that they’re postponing it,” Gazazian said. “I think it’s a step in a right direction as opposed to leaving (seniors) in the dark. And completely canceling out the possibility of a virtual one was a really good decision.”
Aaron Arellano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.