Southern Utah, Dixie State postpone commencement to safeguard against COVID-19 spread

Students celebrate at the 108th Dixie State University Commencement ceremony, May 3, 2019, St. George, Utah | Photo by Andrew Pinckney, St. George News.

ST. GEORGE — The state announced Wednesday afternoon the postponing of commencement ceremonies for all Utah public universities including Southern Utah University and Dixie State University.

Dixie State posted on its website that it will be postponing its 109th Commencement Ceremony in order to safeguard the health of graduates, their loved ones, and the entire campus community.

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation and work to create a plan that will both honor our graduates and keep them safe,” according to the Dixie State website.

SUU President Scott Wyatt said on Twitter, “We are sorry to inform that the Utah System of Higher Education is requiring all public colleges and universities to postpone commencement.”

“It breaks our heart to not be able to hand you a diploma this semester, but we will find the time to celebrate your achievement,” Wyatt said in a video message on YouTube. “I love commencement. We love coming together and watching the joy in your faces as you celebrate the completion of this great goal.”

Wyatt said he added up the commencements he’s attended, and it’s at least 58. This was the commencement, Wyatt said, his wife was going to graduate after 35 years of working on her bachelor’s degree.

“Of course, there was a big period in the middle when she wasn’t taking classes,” he said. “And our youngest daughter is graduating.”

Wyatt said he has already reached out to student body officers in order to plan a unique and still grand celebration of student achievement.

“It won’t be what you expected,” he said. “But it will be unforgettable.”

These are very historic times, he added, and it may not be much of a consolation to students, but these are the kinds of experiences that people have only once every hundred years.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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