Oregon State University announced today that June’s commencement ceremonies in Corvallis and Bend will be held virtually due to continued COVID concerns.
Officials made the call expecting in-person large gathering restrictions to remain in place into early summer.
“While extremely disappointing that we won’t hold traditional commencement ceremonies in person, we know this is the appropriate decision as we keep health and safety as our top priorities,” said OSU President F. King Alexander. “Even with more people being vaccinated daily, it is not possible within anticipated state and local health guidelines to plan any large in-person gathering as early as June. We feel it’s important to make this announcement now before large numbers of our graduates’ families begin to make travel and lodging arrangements.”
Graduates will receive detailed information in the coming weeks about the virtual ceremonies, scheduled for June 12 for Corvallis campus graduates and June 13 for OSU-Cascades graduates, including distribution plans for diplomas, Alexander said. Commencement webpages for the Corvallis campus and OSU-Cascades campus will provide updates.
This year’s decision for virtual ceremonies follows decisions by OSU in 2020 to first postpone commencement to the fall, then to cancel due to the ongoing pandemic in compliance with Gov. Kate Brown’s executive orders to address the pandemic.
The university celebrated its 150th commencement in 2019, and 2020 was the first time it had canceled a commencement ceremony.
“Decisions affecting commencement are difficult to make,” said OSU Provost Edward Feser. “OSU commencement is a tradition that started a century and a half ago with three students and has grown to annually celebrate the distinguished achievements of more than 7,000 graduates from our campuses in Corvallis and Bend. But the decisions we’ve had to make are the right decisions for the safety of our students, their guests, members of the university community and for all of the communities we serve.”