For the health and safety of the campus community, Mansfield University has postponed its spring 2020 commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 2 due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

A survey of graduating seniors is being conducted to inform the administration of preferences for a commencement ceremony later in the year.

"We are truly living through an unprecedented global event the likes of which we have not seen in Mansfield University's 163-year history," said Dr. Charles Patterson, president of Mansfield University, in an email to the campus community on Thursday morning. "After much consideration, it is abundantly clear that we have no choice but to postpone our spring 2020 Commencement ceremony. This is certainly not an easy decision, but one that requires timely notification for families already making travel arrangements."

Mansfield University will provide spring graduates with a future opportunity to participate in an in-person ceremony and cross the stage at a commencement ceremony. Additional information concerning a future ceremony will be shared once the survey results are complete and a decision can be made.

Students completing all degree requirements will still officially graduate, regardless of whether they walk across the stage at a commencement ceremony.

All face-to-face instruction at Mansfield University transitioned to online modalities beginning March 23 in order to maintain appropriate social distancing measures.

"I understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is extremely disruptive, and this is a difficult time for our students, their families, and our faculty and staff, but we are pulling together and solving problems as they arise in a way that demonstrates our caring and resilient Mountie Spirit," said Patterson.

Mansfield University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. For more information visit mansfield.edu.