Developing: Commencements across Vermont and the Northeast affected by Covid-19

By BENJY RENTON

SARAH ASCH
Middlebury’s Commencement exercises in 2019.

Last updated April 20, 1:00 p.m.

Colleges across Vermont and Middlebury’s peer schools in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) have been faced with the possibility of not conducting commencement exercises as originally planned, due to concerns about in-person gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. The Campus has been tracking as colleges announce postponements or cancellations for ceremonies in the spring.

 

Amherst College and Bowdoin College have decided to postpone commencement exercises, without yet revealing the specifics of what those postponed commencements will look like.

Tufts University was the latest university in the NESCAC to postpone its commencement. “Though we unfortunately cannot be together in person, we will celebrate the class of 2020 on May 17 with the university’s first virtual Commencement ceremony,” president Anthony Monaco said in a March 26 statement. The decision was met with considerable opposition, as reported in The Tufts Daily, and a a petition to reschedule an in-person commencement is now circulating online. The petition had received over 4,300 signatures as of Saturday, March 28.

The university since walked back the idea of a virtual commencement and announced it would hold an in-person ceremony “when it is safe to do so.”

 

Six Vermont colleges and universities have announced that they will postpone their commencements, some as late in 2021.

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