Suffolk commencement pushed until at least August

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Suffolk University's 2015 commencement.

Suffolk University’s commencement will likely be held in August in light of growing concerns over the novel coronavirus, Suffolk President Marisa Kelly announced in an email to the Suffolk community Saturday.

Kelly said guidance from public health and government officials indicates that the large gatherings “will not be permitted at least through the first part of May.”

“Because we need to make a decision long before then, and so much of the preparation must take place far in advance, it is virtually impossible to envision a scenario where we could hold Commencement on May 17,” Kelly said. “So we will postpone the celebration, but we will not cancel it.”

Three commencement ceremonies are typically held at Suffolk each year: one for the law school, one for the Sawyer Business School and one for the College of Arts and Science. These ceremonies might be broken off into several smaller groups, Kelly said.

“We will provide more details when they are available. If the public health crisis has not subsided enough to celebrate all of you in August, we will look for another alternative,” Kelly said.

Students will still receive their diplomas in May regardless of when commencement is held, Kelly said.

She said the university will do everything it can to hold a celebration for graduating students and their families.

“We must find a way to celebrate together. I want the opportunity to congratulate you all one by one (even if we cannot shake hands), recognizing you for your achievements, and inviting you to continue to engage with us as Suffolk alumni,” Kelly said.