Graduation ceremony postponed until August

Spring senior Hannah Spagnoletti will graduate from Baylor with a degree in Marketing. The commencement ceremony has since been postponed to August due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. By Brittney Matthews | Multimedia Editor

By Sarah Pinkerton | Staff Writer

After the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation of no mass gatherings with 50 or more people for the next eight weeks, Baylor postponed the May commencement ceremonies for seniors until August.

In a statement from University President Linda Livingstone, Baylor said seniors will still earn their degree in May upon finishing their academic requirements.

“We also know how meaningful it is for graduates to walk across the stage at commencement, and we plan to extend that opportunity to our spring graduates at an August ceremony,” Livingstone said.

In a video statement released Wednesday, Livingstone additionally said that while this was a difficult decision, the university does not want to put students, friends and family in harm’s way.

“We are so very proud of you and all you have meant to our university,” Livingstone said. “You have left a mark on this campus that will impact us for years to come. We look forward to welcoming you into the next phase of your Baylor journey as alumni and we look forward to having you back on campus to celebrate your commencement in August.”

Dallas senior Abi Young said she understands the reasoning behind moving the ceremony to August but there is certainly still sadness among the graduating seniors as their expectations have been shifted.

Honestly, I don’t really for see myself coming back to the ceremony in August because by that time I will be living and working in the city,” Young said.

In the midst of a continued online schooling plan, many seniors are also worried about their potential decline in GPA and the difficulty this may cause for majors that require interactive activity and preparation as their time at the undergraduate level comes to an end.

Young said that as an interior design major, many of the programs they typically use are not supported by Apple computers.

“I am hopeful that my professors are working tirelessly to figure out a system that will work for us all,” Young said. “My heart goes out to them having to turn around their courses for thousands of students who are all in different situations. I know they are trying to make it as easy as they can for us to make this transition.”

After returning from a spring break mission trip in the United Kingdom, Houston senior Madison McClendon said she’s excited to see how God uses this new phase.

“Honestly getting that email, as sobering as it was, seemed like one more thing God had every intention of using for good,” McClendon said. “It’s weird realizing how much I relied on the little “certainties” for a sense of peace, but with all that’s going on, graduating a little later than I planned is a small price.”

While there is certainly uncertainty and confusion among the graduating class, the university said the health of students and faculty is currently the primary concern amidst the decision to postpone.