WIU cancels spring commencement ceremonies

MACOMB, Ill. (NEWS3) — Western Illinois University announced Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies are canceled due to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding COVID-19.

This comes one day after WIU decided to cancel in-person classes for the rest of the spring semester.

WIU Interim President Martin Abraham said diplomas will be mailed following the end of the school year and officials are looking at possible alternatives for recognitions for student accomplishments.

“Graduates will have an opportunity to participate in a formal ceremony at a later date,” Abraham said. “It will take some time to review these options, but we want to do our best to honor our students’ achievements in some way. We value our students and their families, and it is our wish to honor the work our students have done to get to this culminating point of their academic career.”

WIU residence halls remain open for students to stay in their dorms or make plans to move out for the school year. Officials have not released yet if students will receive refunds for housing and dining.

Officials said there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at WIU, but they want to take steps to ensure the safety of the community.

“This is a significant day that means so much to our students and their families, as well as our faculty, staff and alumni,” Abraham said. “We are so proud of our students’ successes and achievements. I’m sorry that the final semester for our students, faculty and staff has changed so dramatically in just a few short weeks, and that we are unable to provide the traditional academic and social experiences to which we’re all accustomed to at this incredible institution.”

The WIU Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies were scheduled to take place May 8 through May 10.