Dear Members of the UWG Family,

I write today to share what I know will be disappointing news for so many individuals – myself included. To protect the health of our graduates, their families, alumni, and faculty and staff of the university – our highest priority in the face of this unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – we are canceling this semester’s Spring Commencement and all affiliated activities. All commencement ceremonies for all institutions across the state will be canceled in accordance with guidance from the University System of Georgia.

In following preventive measures to avoid having people convene in large groups as advised by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we cannot responsibly plan to bring thousands of people to campus for our traditional Spring Commencement in May.

Students will still graduate consistent with academic standards, but all graduation ceremonies – including, for example, those hosted by the Tanner Health System School of Nursing and the College of Education – will be canceled according to guidance from USG. UWG, like all USG institutions, is exploring creative alternatives to honor our graduates and their accomplishments.

I wanted to get this information to you as soon as possible so that graduates and their families can make appropriate plans. We are working with our vendors and the UWG Bookstore to determine appropriate refunds for students.

While I know this really stings at the moment, I hope all of you can look back on this time and feel immense pride in the role you played in safeguarding yourself, your community, and the world. I regret that this semester has been upended in so many ways, but we are confronting challenges in uncharted territory.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to conclude the semester in a safe and positive way.

Thank you,

Stuart Rayfield
Interim President