UC Berkeley all-campus commencement postponed to summer due to COVID-19

Karen Chow/Senior Staff

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Update 4/2/2020: This article has been updated to include additional information from UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ.

As a result of the expanding COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, pandemic, the spring 2020 UC Berkeley all-campus commencement has been postponed until the summer.

Commencement, which was originally scheduled for May 16, will take place at an undetermined time and location, according to an email sent to the class of 2020 on March 23. The email asked students fill out a survey, in which they could opt for commencement to take place either during the summer or virtually on the original date.

The email also mentioned the possibility of the class of 2020 being able to participate in the December 2020 or May 2021 ceremonies.

“We find ourselves in uncharted waters in having to make a decision about something as special as commencement,” said Chancellor Carol Christ in the email. “We all love commencement, and you all are certainly so very deserving of a meaningful celebration that honors all of your hard work and accomplishments at Berkeley.”

According to an email from Christ sent April 2, the majority of students said they would prefer a summer commencement date in the survey, which garnered more than 3,000 responses.

Christ added that while campus administration has begun searching for a new date and location for the ceremony in the summer, it will not be releasing official details on the rescheduling until the timeline of the pandemic becomes more clear.

“We understand how important it is to celebrate your achievements with your friends and family, who have supported you throughout your Berkeley journey,” Christ said in the April 2 email to graduating students. “I am deeply moved by your compassion and courage during these uncertain times.”

Check back for updates.

Contact Kate Finman and Mallika Seshadri at [email protected].