ISU and IWU announce cancellation of commencement ceremonies

Illinois State University will hold a virtual commencement ceremony for Spring 202 graduates. (Photo courtesy: WJBC/File)

By Blake Haas

NORMAL – Due to COVID-19, Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan are canceling commencement ceremonies.

“In lieu of the originally scheduled commencement ceremonies on May8-9, Illinois State will present ceremonies online to recognize the achievements of the 2020 spring and summer graduates,” said Illinois State Officials in a news release. “These will include remarks by President Dietz and other Illinois State officials along with an opportunity for students to submit photos for virtual ceremony recognition. In addition, each graduate will receive a commencement program book and diploma cover by mail.”

ISU is also inviting Spring and Summer 2020 graduates to participate in person in the winter commencement ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12.

Additionally, IWU will move to online classes for the remainder of the semester.

“We recognize this decision will be a great disappointment for our students, we were looking forward to returning to campus and reconnecting with faculty and friends,” IWU President Georgia Nugent. “I am particularly pained by what this means for our seniors and their expectations at this time.”

Originally scheduled for May 10, IWU is currently looking for alternatives for commencement ceremonies.

“These are unprecedented times, and obviously not the experiences that any of us were anticipating,” added President Georgia Nugent. “But our faculty and staff are hard at work in finding new and creative ways to stay connected with our students and to continue their education, although in with the same close attention that Illinois Wesleyan can distinctively deliver.

Blake Haas can be reached at


Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…

Everyone counts and you could make the difference

By Mike Matejka How many federal dollars will there be for road repairs?  To feed hungry families?  How many Illinois representatives will there be in Congress?  Are Illinois communities going to get their fair share? There’s only one way to ensure our community gets treated properly – answer the census. The every ten year U.S. census,…