Class of 2020 may have to wait until the fall for commencement

By Ben Rappaport

This fall will be the earliest time that UNC’s class of 2020 will experience their commecement ceremony. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

UNC’s class of 2020 may have to wait until September or October to officially put on the cap and gown and be honored at their commencement ceremony, according to Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. The UNC Board of Trustees held a virtual meeting Thursday. Most of the meeting was held in closed session to discuss legal matters, but during the opening remarks Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz gave updates about the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A focus of the chancellor’s remarks was on the seniors graduating in 2020.

“So I have another video going out to them either Wednesday or Thursday,” Guskiewicz said, “just to acknowledge their achievements and give them a brief update on commencement, which we don’t have an answer yet on but we’re honing in on some suggested you know, suggested dates and we’ll fill in here I hope in the next three to four weeks.”

The Chancellor spoke to concerns about the economic toll the pandemic will take on the state budget. While the exact cost remains unclear, he expects the UNC System to feel the burden.

We are monitoring the state budget situation, continuing to get a lot of questions about this and we are anticipating that it will impact the UNC system,” he said. “And our campus budget is too soon to know the extent. But we are developing a plan for how we would make strategic budgetary decisions that align with Carolina Next.

Carolina Next is UNC’s roadmap for the future. While this situation is painful for many at UNC and beyond, Chancellor Gustkiewicz says he hopes this crisis sparks innovation from the Carolina community so that we can, as he says, “reimagine the next new normal.”

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