University of Hawaii President David Lassner announced today that all upcoming graduation ceremonies will be canceled.
“It is with great regret that I come to you with this announcement. After discussions with leadership at the campus and system level, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all traditional graduation ceremonies on the 10 UH campuses,” Lassner (University of Hawaii President)wrote in a message to students, teachers and staff.
“This decision has been the result of many difficult conversations. The beginning is one of the oldest traditions in our society, and it is one of the most anticipated celebrations in our entire university system for students, their families and friends, “he wrote.” The beginning unites us through age, the gender, ethnicity, and personal background. Each year, our UH ʻohana hopes to share one of the most important milestones in our students’ lives. It marks the end of one period of our lives and the beginning of the next. For our faculty and Personally, it serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of the work we do collaboratively with students. We share your disappointment that this unprecedented health crisis has robbed everyone of this moment. “
He encouraged students and staff “to think of this moment as being delayed and not as a loss.”
“Students who would have walked in the ceremony this semester will have the opportunity to participate when the start is resumed in person. Our campuses have already demonstrated remarkable ingenuity and may consider postponing ceremonies for a future date or creating alternatives to traditional ceremonies. Our community is strong and we will overcome it together. ”
UH officials announced Friday that the remainder of the spring semester would be just online classes, though dorm rooms and some university facilities remain open. UH campuses are on spring break this week.
Lassner ended his message by saying, “I cannot think of a similar time in my life that I have seen such widespread trauma. While it will certainly take a while to recover, I truly believe that we will be able to come out of this stronger and more resilient. I know that the strength and the aloha that our community has for each other knows no limits. I wish you and your loved ones peace and good health. “