NAU to hold spring graduation ceremonies virtually due to coronavirus
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NAU to hold spring graduation ceremonies virtually due to coronavirus

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Malhia Best, left, goofs around taking graduation photos with her friend Natalie Worthington in front of Old Main on the Northern Arizona University campus last week. “We feel like we are the last two students on campus,” Best said. In-person classes at all three state universities were cancelled for the remainder of the semester March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The women said that they weren’t even sure if there would be graduation ceremonies for them in May.

Spring graduation ceremonies at Northern Arizona University won’t be happening this year, or at least not as originally planned.

In an email to students and faculty, NAU President Rita Cheng said she made the decision to cancel commencement at the Skydome after much thought and careful consideration of the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cheng said the move was prompted by what she called the “unprecedented global health crisis.”

To replace in-person ceremonies, the university is organizing a virtual commencement ceremony that will occur in May. Additionally, graduates are being invited to walk in a special in-person ceremony in December, Cheng said in her email.

“I am extremely proud of the way our Lumberjacks have come together during these challenging times to find ways to help each other and ensure a better and brighter future,” the email read.

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