HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Spring 2020 graduates from The University of Southern Mississippi will have to wait even longer than first anticipated to walk in a traditional commencement ceremony.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and surging infections in Mississippi, the university announced Friday it was forced to cancel graduation ceremonies that had been scheduled for August.
“We extend our sincere apologies to our Class of 2020, and we share in the disappointment of this difficult decision,” a tweet from USM read.
In late March, the university rescheduled the spring commencement for Aug. 20 and Aug. 21 because of the growing coronavirus outbreak.
Because of evolving public health guidelines, the university said graduation ceremonies scheduled for December could also be in jeopardy. A final decision on those ceremonies will be made by Sept. 15, according to the university.
USM says 2020 graduates will be invited to walk in the next set of commencement ceremonies that can be hosted on campus.
While the August commencement ceremonies have been canceled, students are still expected to return to campus for the fall 2020 semester.
On May 28, the university announced it will operate on a condensed schedule starting Aug. 17.
On-campus instruction for the fall semester is scheduled to end Nov. 23, with students taking online exams the following week.