Coronavirus can’t stop Clarkson commencement

Clarkson commencement plans

POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWNY) - Clarkson University officials are working to make sure COVID-19 regulations don’t cancel this year’s commencement ceremony.

They know it won’t happen in May.

But vice president of external relations Kelly Chezum says the students have been heard.

“We went back out and we surveyed all of the students about what was most important to them,” she said. “And it was very abundantly clear that, overwhelmingly, a commencement exercise is very important to these students.”

Saturday, August 15 is the new potential date.

Chezum says the university also wants to include events that normally lead up to commencement. Students and faculty will help create that schedule, but they’ll have less time for the events than usual.

“We often start those about five days before commencement,” Chezum said. “It’s basically going to be a Friday and Saturday affair.”

According to Chezum, the university wants to finalize plans by June 30 and they’re ready to change how commencement might look if health recommendations still keep large groups from gathering.

"We might want to anticipate that we might have to change some of the occupancy of our facilities,” she said, "and so we might have to split commencement into two sections.”

Chezum says students will also have the option to attend the August ceremony virtually.

They can also return for other ceremonies, such as the December 2020 or May 2021 commencements.

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