Tidewater Community College will not hold its 2020 Spring Commencement Exercises scheduled for Monday, May 11, at Chartway Arena in Norfolk.
On Tuesday, Glenn DuBois, chancellor for Virginia’s Community Colleges, announced the cancellation of all May commencements due to recent CDC guidance that calls for avoiding gatherings of 50 or more people over the next eight weeks because of a rise in coronavirus cases in the Commonwealth.
The VCCS announcement is also in compliance with Gov. Ralph Northam’s statewide ban on all gatherings of 100 or more people.
“We will find an alternate and safe way to honor our graduates,” said Marian Anderfuren, TCC’s public information officer.
The college’s Commencement Committee will consider alternatives, such as rescheduling for the summer or holding a virtual commencement. Those details will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.
“What’s difficult is that the very things that make commencement meaningful also makes them dangerous in this pandemic,” DuBois said. “While it’s a celebration of individual achievements, it’s a community celebration. Many of the same family members who travel far and wide to attend are at particularly high risk with this virus. And the hugs and high-fives that come naturally to so many of us in that moment fly in the face of the social distancing practices we are asked to observe.”
While TCC remains open and staffed, the college will move to remote instruction starting March 23. TCC extended its Spring Break by a week to allow faculty time to prepare. By April 1, the college will evaluate whether to continue remote delivery of classes or return to in-person instruction.
TCC is maintaining a comprehensive web page with information about its response to COVID-19.