What does the cancelling of the May graduations at the University of Illinois at Champaign, Chicago and Springfield mean for the planned graduation ceremonies on May 19th, and 20th for the Leyden High Schools at the Rosemont Theatre, as well as for the grammar and high schools throughout the State of Illinois ?
The coronavirus is upending many of the hallmarks of the American grammar, high school and university experience. This may be only the beginning of what is to come.
These dramatic alterations in the educational landscape include classroom attendance as well as with the upcoming May and June graduations the likelihood of the cancellation of graduation ceremonies especially if the classes are cancelled beyond the first week in April.
The University of Illinois has canceled May graduation at its three campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A note signed by the U. of I leadership at the three campuses, including U. of I. System President Tim Killeen, states that diplomas will be mailed. The university is considering ways to honor the 2020 class with virtual events. The turnout for commencement events, which draw between a few hundred to several thousand people, far exceed the federal guidance that calls for canceling large events for at least eight weeks, the university said.
“We know you share the goal of those restrictions – protecting yourselves and the well-being of your family, friends and the broader community, particularly the most vulnerable among us. We are proud of your sacrifice and your success, Class of 2020, and we promise we will find ways to honor your achievements,” the letter said.
Illinois has at least 160 known cases of COVID-19, but the actual number is likely much higher because of limited testing. The state reported its first death from the disease on Tuesday and revealed that 18 patients in a nursing home have contracted the virus.
With the major State Universities’ of Illinois have cancelled their May graduation ceremonies it leaves little doubt that the balance of the Illinois colleges and universities will be cancelling their graduation ceremonies as well as the high schools and grammar schools throughout the State of Illinois.
If there’s an upcoming graduate in your life, give them a hug and pray for them. To them, the cancellation of school is not a vacation. It’s wasted time they don’t get to spend with their friends the last few months before they graduate. They’re anxious, realizing they may never be able to walk the halls for the last time, do their senior walk or attend their last prom. They’re sad hearing their senior prom they’ve been waiting on all year has a chance of being canceled. They’re nervous that they may not be able to walk the stage and get the diploma they have been working hard on for 12 years. Show them support and love them during these hard times. #classof2020
If you are the parent of a 2020 grad, copy and post on your Facebook wall with their pic! Thinking of all in the Class of 2020!