Dear Members of the Class of 2020,

As you know, the Spring 2020 commencement ceremony and related activities to honor you and your accomplishments in person were postponed until December. Unfortunately, given the continued and unpredictable surges of COVID-19, the need for physical distancing and the restrictions placed on large gatherings, we have determined that this plan is not feasible. I understand that you may be disappointed in this outcome, and you deserve to be recognized for your dedication and commitment to achieve your respective degrees.

You may recall that we surveyed your class recently. The results of that survey indicated that 70 percent of the 30 percent who completed the survey would attend the December commencement. One of the largest concerns was the restriction on the number of guests permitted to attend a face-to-face commencement. One of the highest preferences was to “cross the stage” as the degree was conferred. Unfortunately, long lines gathering to cross the stage, as well as the crowds that would form in entering and exiting the event, present problems given the physical-distancing requirements that the Centers for Disease Control and the Commonwealth of Kentucky have set for large gatherings.

In short, it seems impossible to hold a meaningful face-to-face event of this nature without compromising the safety of you and your guests.

We will continue to explore safe possibilities to recognize the graduates from Summer and Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 and will communicate any plans accordingly. Please know that this decision in no way reflects upon your considerable accomplishments and our celebration of your success.

In Veritatis Amore,

Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D.