University President Ronald Rochon sent an email to the USI staff and student body announcing spring commencement has been officially canceled.
“I had sincerely hoped to stand and celebrate with you, but this decision does not in any way diminish the amount of pride we have in the work that you have done and everything you have achieved,” Rochon said in the email. “This virus can never take away your education. It can never take away your discipline. It can never take away your resilience or your resolve. In spite of COVID-19, in spite of other kinds of ups and downs throughout your time at USI, you have persevered.”
USI is not the first Indiana college to shut down the graduation ceremony, Ball State and Purdue have both canceled as well.
“I’m scared I will always look back and feel sad I never got to walk across the stage,” said Carli Fisher, who studied early childhood and special education while at the university.
“It is disheartening and disappointing. I already felt like my senior year was taken away, and to have this moment taken away as well is difficult,” Gabby Walker, another student who would have graduated this past spring, said in response to a Facebook post.