UD latest university to postpone graduation, finish school year online

The University of Dayton is the latest college in the Miami Valley to postpone graduation and finish the spring semester online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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“Simply put, it is inconceivable to public health authorities that it would be safe to gather 11,000 students and 3,000 employees on the UD campus any time before June,” said President Eric F. Spina in a video message to campus on Friday. “This is a painful moment in the history of our beloved university, even though it is best for the health of our people and is grounded in the commitment to the common good that’s ingrained in our mission and identity as a Catholic and Marianist university.”

UD faculty and staff are working to complete the transition to remote learning for the spring semester. More details about the process are expected to be released in the coming days.

"I ask for your patience as we strive to provide you accurate information so that you and your families may make plans as soon as possible," Spina said.

The university will also release more information on how students can get their belongings from campus, as well as plans for graduation.

The majority of students left University of Dayton’s residence halls and houses last week, according to Cilla Shindell, UD executive director of news and communications. Students are on spring break before online learning begins next Monday.

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“We have been working individually with students who are unable to leave campus housing,” Shindell said.

The spread of coronavirus left many college and university students faced with the end of their school year

looking very different than they anticipated — especially seniors.

“We just got the message yesterday [March 16] that we had to get everything out by Friday,” said Beth Metcalf, a Wright State senior studying finance. “I was really sad because my roommate lives in a different state so we didn’t expect to have to say goodbye so quickly.”

Students from area campuses are packing their belongings to head home almost two months before the expected end of semester.

The University of Dayton is waiting to make an official call regarding commencement ceremonies; however, Wright State University on Tuesday night announced that it has postponed its spring commencement.

“To be sure, the university WILL hold a graduation celebration for the class of 2020, on a date yet to be determined,” WSU President Sue Edwards said.

Sinclair Community College on Tuesday, March 17, canceled its May 3 commencement ceremony.

“We are saddened to share that Sinclair’s commencement ceremony will not take place this year,” said Sinclair President Steve Johnson. “While this ceremony must be interrupted this year, we want our graduates to know that we are so proud of their accomplishments.”

Johnson said a special package is being prepared to be sent to each student that the university hopes conveys how proud it is of its students.

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Clark State has also pushed back its commencement until August 15.

“We know that these are critical times for students, and we will continue to be diligent in ensuring and supporting their success during this unprecedented situation,” Clark State President Blondin said. “We also wish to alleviate the uncertainty around important campus milestones such as graduation and reassure students and employees that we will return to normal operations as soon as possible.”

The college announced on March 23 that all campus building were buildings were closing at 2 p.m. Students and employees were encouraged to follow Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton’s order to stay home and limit trips outside their residence.

As spring breaks end for students, online instruction is beginning and students are making plans to complete coursework from home.

Wright State students have been informed that all on-campus residents will be required to move all belongings out and return keys by Friday, March 20. Students who need additional time to make arrangements have until 5 p.m. Monday to move out.

“We expect to receive requests to remain in student housing for a variety of reasons,” said Seth Bauguess, WSU director of communications. “The university will continue to offer limited services to those who have been determined eligible to remain.”

Online instruction began for WSU on Monday, March 16.

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Online course instruction for Central State students begins on March 23.

“We realize that many international students and Fulbright Scholars were unable to navigate quick international travel in such a short period of time,” read a letter to CSU students from President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond.

CSU resident halls will be kept open for those students who need to figure out special accommodations, Jackson-Hammond said. It is expected, though, that all students, domestic and international, will be returning to their homes by the end of this week.

On-campus operations at Wilberforce University were ceased on Monday and will remain closed until March 31, according to the university website. On April 1, the decision will be made whether to return to normal operations.

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