March 20, 2020

University of Arizona Commencement Update

TUCSON, Ariz. — A message from University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins:

I am so sorry to have to announce yet one more difficult but necessary decision regarding the most important event we have on campus all year, Commencement.

The health and safety of our students, families, friends and communities must come first and we have determined that the University of Arizona 2020 Convocations and Commencement cannot take place in-person as originally scheduled in May 2020. This decision includes all celebrations and convocations in Tucson, Phoenix, Yuma and Sierra Vista.

My biggest regret for the Class of 2020 is that you didn't get to enjoy these final weeks of being a student and your final celebration with your classmates. You are among 8,088 undergraduates, 2,219 master's students, 1,036 doctoral students, 521 professional degree students and 249 certificate earners, and it is important that the campus community celebrate your achievements.

To that end, our Presidential Events & University Ceremonies team has taken on this challenge as its top priority. We look forward to sharing our plans with you in the coming weeks.

  • For the May 15 celebration, we are planning an alternate graduation experience for you and your families. Updates will be available at starting Friday, March 27. We want to hear from you and your feedback will go directly to our team.
  • We invite you to participate in a future Convocation and Commencement ceremony, either in December 2020 or May 2021. (These ceremonies are also dependent on the nation's recovery from COVID-19, and your health and safety will remain our No. 1 priority.)

Seniors, we are heartbroken that we had to change our plans for your Commencement. I will miss seeing you more than you will know. I can only hope you will understand why we couldn't hold the ceremony as scheduled.

I want to thank you all for the grace and care you have displayed for one another over the past week as we are all adapting to an unprecedented health challenge.

Bear Down!

Robert C. Robbins, M.D.
The University of Arizona  

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Media contacts:
Chris Sigurdson
University Communications
520-626-5620 (office) | 765-404-5959 (cell)
Pam Scott
University Communications
520-621-1951 (office) | 509-570-4610 (cell)

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2018 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $687 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 65 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually.