In an email letter sent to all May 2020 graduates, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt announced the necessary cancellation of a planned in-person Commencement ceremony that was to take place on Oct. 2. The letter read, in part:
"I am writing to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to cancel our planned in-person Commencement ceremonies, scheduled for Oct. 2. The rising number of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, and continuing restrictions on the number of people who can gather in Eau Claire — even outdoors — would severely limit the spirit of celebration that we hoped to provide in October. It would not credit your achievement in the ways we want, and the risk of gathering for an in-person celebration continues to be too high — for you and your family and friends."
Schmidt also announced plans for a virtual event celebrating the commencement of both spring and fall 2020 graduates combined, to take on Dec. 19. The online ceremony will include the official conferral of degrees, a message from Chancellor Schmidt, photos and messages from the graduates, as well as music performed for the event.
Students and families are asked to watch for further updates and invitations from the Commencement planning team as more details are finalized for the December event.