Arkansas Tech University is planning a virtual commencement ceremony to honor its spring and summer 2020 graduates.
The ATU in-person commencement ceremonies scheduled for Aug. 8, 2020, are cancelled. It is the second in-person commencement ceremony season the university has cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which also forced the cancellation of the ATU spring 2020 in-person commencement ceremonies in May.
"At the outset of the pandemic, we held out hope that we might be able to conduct in-person commencement ceremonies by August 2020," said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president. "Our phased return as a university and a state continues, but guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Arkansas Department of Health indicates that it is not yet prudent to host public events the size and scope of our traditional commencement ceremonies. I am saddened that we will be unable to celebrate our spring and summer 2020 graduates in person, but the lack of a traditional ceremony does nothing to diminish their achievements. I am proud of and happy for every one of them."
The ATU Office of the Registrar, which plans and executes commencement ceremonies at Arkansas Tech, has been making provisional plans for a possible virtual commencement ceremony since April. ATU spring and summer 2020 graduates are encouraged to watch their ATU e-mail accounts for details about how to participate in the virtual commencement, which will be made available online in August.
"While we know the virtual celebration does not replace the experience of commencement, we do hope students will participate virtually in recognition of their achievements," said Tammy Weaver, ATU registrar.
More details concerning the ATU spring and summer virtual commencement are available and will continue to be updated at www.atu.edu/registrar/graduation.php.
ATU is planning for on-campus classes and activities during the fall 2020 semester. A decision concerning the status of fall 2020 in-person commencement, currently slated for Dec. 11-12, is scheduled to be made in October.