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Colleges, NU Canceling Commencement Ceremonies

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – The COVID-19 pandemic has led the 3 schools in the Nebraska State College System, all 4 campuses of the University of Nebraska system, and Western Nebraska Community College to cancel their May graduation ceremonies and plan alternatives.

Chadron State College hasn’t made an announcement yet about its graduation alternatives, but Peru State is postponing commencement until December 18 while Wayne State intends to hold commencement this summer.

WNCC is replacing a physical ceremony with a commencement gift bag. College President Carmen Simone says each member of the Class of 2020 will receive a graduation tassel, diploma cover, program booklet, alumni pin, and other special gifts to help commemorate their time at the school.

Simone says WNCC is “so proud of our 2020 graduates for taking the challenges of this semester head on and still completing all the requirements to successfully graduate,” adding that the school is disappointed it can’t celebrate with them in person but still wants them to know how “happy and excited” everyone at WNCC is to see all their hard work come to fruition.

Although graduation is canceled, other events including the pinning ceremony for members of the WNCC nursing program and the Adult Education graduation ceremony, are simply being postponed with dates yet to be determined.

The university’s flagship Lincoln campus intends to hold an online event on an as-yet undetermined date with the May graduates invited to take part a future commencement, including those scheduled for this August and December or May of next year.

The Medical Center in Omaha plans to hold virtual ceremonies May 7 and 9 while Nebraska-Omaha graduates will be recognized through an online streaming commencement on May 8. Nebraska-Kearney plans to combine its spring and summer commencements on July 31.