CORVALLIS, Ore. – Based on input from Oregon State University students, the university announced today it is postponing commencement ceremonies in Corvallis and at OSU-Cascades in Bend until a later date, possibly in the fall.
This decision is in keeping with the university’s measures to help reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19 and is in compliance with Gov. Kate Brown’s executive orders to address the pandemic, including an extension of social distancing and remote learning orders issued Wednesday by Brown.
“This was not an easy decision to make,” OSU President Ed Ray said. “OSU commencement is a tradition that was begun 150 years ago with three students and now celebrates the distinguished achievements of more than 7,000 graduates annually, and is attended by more than 25,000 guests and university faculty and staff. Yet, postponing commencement to a healthier time is the right choice and is strongly supported by our students. And this decision acknowledges that OSU has never cancelled commencement in its history.”
Students in Corvallis and Bend were recently surveyed and overwhelmingly supported postponing commencement ceremonies.
In Corvallis, more than 2,500 students on track to graduate responded to the survey. Of this total, 66% supported rescheduling commencement to a later date; 24% supported holding a virtual ceremony; and 10% supported cancelling commencement.
At OSU-Cascades, 713 students responded. Of those, 76% favored rescheduling commencement to a later date.
“Commencement is a special occasion for all of our graduates and their families, especially our first-generation college graduates,” said Becky Johnson, vice president of OSU-Cascades. “I appreciate our students’ input and look forward to celebrating their achievements when we can do so safely.”
The Corvallis commencement ceremony was scheduled for June 13 at Reser Stadium. The OSU-Cascades ceremony was set for June 14 at Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend.
University leaders will provide details regarding rescheduled commencement ceremonies as soon as possible.