After the cancellation of University of Michigan commencement due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many seniors expressed the loss of their final year. However, on April 9, University President Mark Schlissel announced updates to commencement plans in an email to the University community. 

“We are working with members of the Ann Arbor Class of 2020 to find a future date for the official in-person commencement ceremony,” Schlissel wrote. “We need more information before we can finalize anything, however, including when it might be safe for our graduates, their families, and the hundreds of staff who would work during the event. We’re currently looking at some time next spring.”

The email also notes the plans of the Flint and Dearborn University campuses. Flint currently has plans for a tentative commencement on August 16, 2020, and Dearborn plans on celebrating the graduating class on December 19, 2020. 

Schlissel wrote the Class of 2020 will be celebrated with online content leading up to the previously planned commencement date, May 2, and he invites all graduates to submit multimedia content. According to Schlissel, this will not be a virtual ceremony. 

“This won’t be an online ‘commencement ceremony’ and will not follow any strict schedule,” Schlissel wrote. “Rather, it’s a way to mark the day while allowing you to enjoy this content on your own schedule.”

In addition to the update, Schlissel wrote the previous $5 fee for graduates wishing to obtain a digital diploma will be waived. According to the email, the waiver is accepted by many University programs and the administration is working on University-wide acceptance.

Daily Staff Reporter Francesca Duong can be reached at

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