WXXI AM News

RIT cancels commencement ceremony; Brockport also postpones

Mar 18, 2020

RIT has canceled 2020 commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 8 and 9 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RIT President David Munson said the university had no choice but to make this heartbreaking decision to protect the health of students, their family members, faculty, staff, and the greater Rochester community.

“Commencement is perhaps the most cherished occasion in the life of the university, and so we understand how important this celebration is to our graduates and their guests,” Munson said. “Please know that we did not make this decision lightly, and I fully share your disappointment.”

Munson said the university will work hard to find a way to celebrate the Class of 2020 at a later date, when medical experts say it is safe. He added that he hopes graduating students will remember that even though the traditional ceremony is canceled, this does not take away from all of their hard work.

“Everyone at RIT is especially proud of this graduating class, which has had to adapt to so many changes in their last semester,” he said. “Although it may be difficult, we ask that our graduates rely on their can-do attitude and the Tiger family to finish strong this semester. Please do not lose sight of all you have accomplished. Cherish the challenges you have overcome, the goals you have reached, the lifelong friendships you have made, and the diplomas you will have earned. Your future is bright.”

The College at Brockport is postponing its May commencement ceremonies. College president Heidi Macpherson says it would be irresponsible to move forward as originally planned.

She says she will be tasking a small group with the objective of re-imagining the 2020 commencement so that graduates can be recognized properly at some point in the future.