FAU, Run By State, Will Hold Mega-Events. Lynn, Which Is Private, Follows CDC Guidelines.
BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Lynn University will stay the course and hold graduation virtually this spring, following CDC guidelines. But state school Florida Atlantic University will not. The mega-University will hold two in-person graduation events on April 29th at its Boca Raton campus.
Florida Atlantic University, as a state school, falls under the control of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who has fought COVID rules and mandates throughout the pandemic. Lynn University is a private institution which has followed CDC guidelines over the past year.
FAU says it will require celebrants to wear masks at the events that start at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. They will be available to watch online for those who do not wish to attend in person.
For Lynn, graduation will take place on May 15th. According to the school, it will “honor the Classes of 2020 and 2021 on May 15, 2021. The ceremony will take place virtually and jointly celebrate our 2020 and 2021 graduates.”
The ceremony will take place “100 percent online via YouTube Premiere.”
“Since last March, we have worked diligently to keep our campus operating safely, our students’ learning on track, and our students, employees and Lynn community healthy,” said Lynn President Kevin M. Ross. “In order to maintain our commitment to safety, and given our local environment, we’ve made the necessary decision to celebrate our classes of 2020 and 2021 in a virtual commencement ceremony.”
The decision is not sitting well with some families who apparently believe the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
BocaNewsNow.com received this email Thursday morning: “This means everything to my family and I, and to celebrate an achievement as big as this virtually is just heartbreaking. My classmates are outraged by this decision and we demand an in person ceremony! Lynn University has a population of about 3,000 students. Lynn is one of the most innovative universities in the nation, I am certain that there is a solution aside from a virtual ceremony.”
At FAU, president John Kelly issued sent the following email to students and staffers:
“To the FAU community, As I have stated many times, and particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, I consider commencement a fundamental component of the educational experience here at FAU.
It saddens me that our in-person commencement ceremonies for the entire 2020 calendar year were canceled. However, the decisions to move those events to virtual ceremonies were unquestionably the right ones.
As the public health situation related to the coronavirus eases locally, and following guidance from the State University System of Florida Board of Governors, we are planning to host in-person commencement ceremonies for our Spring 2021 graduates.
Please note: Due to social distancing and other COVID-19-related public health protocols, only students who are scheduled to graduate this spring will be invited to attend these ceremonies.
However, I want to assure all students who were scheduled to graduate during 2020 that every effort will be made to ensure they and their families are given the opportunity to participate in a future commencement ceremony. I hope to provide an update on participation in future ceremonies during the Fall 2021 semester.
For our Spring 2021 graduates, FAU will host two outdoor ceremonies on Thursday, April 29. The first ceremony will start at 9 a.m. and the second ceremony will start at 5 p.m. Both ceremonies will be held in FAU Stadium and will be webcast on FAU.edu. In the event of inclement weather, Friday, April 30, will be used as a back-up day. The wearing of face coverings will be required of all attendees.
Additional information on which colleges will be assigned to which ceremonies, and information about ticketing for graduates and their guests, will be forthcoming. While it is still very difficult to accommodate all eventualities, my goal is to provide the best recognition possible to mark our graduates’ wonderful achievements during their time here at FAU.
If in-person events cannot be held on either day, we will host virtual ceremonies. All graduates will be contacted with details should the need arise.”
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