Postponement of Commencement Announced; Updates to Follow

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In an email to the campus community on Tuesday, March 17, Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy announced that commencement ceremonies scheduled for Friday, May 8, as well as all weekend activities, will be postponed in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Updates will be forthcoming and students are encouraged to share their input via email.

That message reads as follows:

Dear Campus Community,

I write to you today to share the deeply disappointing news that, because of the ongoing prohibition of large gatherings and our own efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19, commencement, which was scheduled for Friday, May 8th, and all commencement weekend activities, will be postponed.

This decision was made with a heavy heart, knowing what a seminal moment this day is in the lives of our students, their families, and the entire UMass community. Unfortunately, at this point, with so much uncertainty about when life will return to normal, I cannot give you a definitive answer for how and when we will honor our graduates, but I can assure you that we will. As I work with our commencement team to develop alternative plans, I invite input from our students for whom this day means so much. Those wishing to share ideas can email them to As our plans take shape, we will keep the campus updated.

I also want to express my gratitude to every member of our campus community for pulling together to confront the unprecedented challenge we are facing. Our faculty are taking extraordinary measures to prepare for remote learning; our staff are working hard to ensure continuity of campus operations; and our students are proving their resilience by accepting this difficult transition with grace and patience.

These are trying times, to say the least, but I know the resilience and revolutionary spirit that define this great university – its students, faculty, staff and alumni – will see us through, and we will be stronger for it.


Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy

More information is available on the UMass Amherst Response to the coronavirus website