ORONO – The University of Maine System will not be holding in-person commencement ceremonies at any of its universities this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement was made Monday by University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy and the presidents of Maine’s public universities. In a statement, Malloy indicated that traditional commencement events would not be possible due to the pandemic and that instead, each university would develop its own celebration.
UMaine System previously made the decision to transition to distance learning, beginning on March 23 when classes resumed. The University of Maine at Farmington commencement event was scheduled for May 9 this year.
“All UMS universities and the Law School will be awarding degrees on schedule and recognizing the academic achievements of our graduating students,” said Malloy in a message to the UMaine community. “While traditional in-person commencement exercises are not possible during the pandemic, each university will determine an appropriate alternative celebration that balances the need to protect public health with the joyful recognition of our students’ academic aspirations and achievements.”
Campus leaders will reach out to students, faculty and staff to coordinate planning of alternative commencement events. Plans are expected to be in place by the middle of April.