NORFOLK, Va. — After many colleges and universities decided to send students home for the spring semester to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Tidewater Community College and Regent University announced Tuesday that they are also changing spring commencement plans.
Regent will be holding its ceremony online, and TCC is canceling spring commencement altogether.
Tidewater Community College:
TCC wrote in a statement that it was responding to an order from Glenn DuBois, chancellor for Virginia's Community Colleges, to cancel all May commencements in accordance with CDC guidelines.
"What’s difficult is that the very things that make commencement meaningful also makes them dangerous in this pandemic,” DuBois said. “While it’s a celebration of individual achievements, it’s a community celebration. Many of the same family members who travel far and wide to attend are at particularly high risk with this virus."
Tidewater's public information officer, Marian Anderfuren, said the college is looking for "an alternate and safe way to honor our graduates."
Regent wrote Tuesday that it will be holding an online commencement ceremony for its 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students on May 9.
The university said it made the call while trying to follow CDC regulations for social distancing.
The university said it will be streaming all ceremonies so that students, friends and families can all access the virtual celebration. The university will stream from its website and its Facebook page.
Officials said each graduate would still receive a graduation package in the mail with the full program, a DVD of the event and "other surprises."