On March 20, Northeastern Illinois University notified students via email that the commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 4 were canceled due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted academic establishments across the country, forcing schools to switch to online instruction for the remainder of the semester. As of March 30, students received an additional update regarding NEIU’s May commencement ceremony.
According to the update provided by Dennis Rome, Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, and Kyle Burke, Chair for NEIU Commencement Planning Committee and Executive Director for Student Auxiliary Services, NEIU formally canceled the Spring 2020 commencement ceremony.
The cancellation is largely attributed to Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s “stay at home” order prohibiting gatherings of over 1,000 people, which remains in effect until at least May 1. The Credit Union 1 Arena, located at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, also notified NEIU that the venue would be unavailable during the month of May.
NEIU is keeping close contact with representatives at the Credit Union 1 Area to determine if it would be feasible to hold the Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremony over the summer.
With the rapidly changing status of the COVID-19 pandemic, NEIU leadership is tasked with determining when it will be safe to host gatherings of the commencement’s size. If coronavirus COVID-19 prevents the celebration from taking place this summer, NEIU plans to investigate potential fall options.
Rome and Burke noted that while the commencement ceremony scheduled for May 4 won’t proceed as planned, the decision does not affect the status of student’s graduation once they have successfully completed the coursework for the current semester.
Regarding refunds for graduation regalia purchased online through Jostens, such as caps and gowns, NEIU’s update stated that NEIU has been in contact with the company and expects to provide more information as soon as possible.
If students have any further inquiries regarding the Commencement, they should email [email protected]