The University of Pikeville will not hold an in-person commencement ceremony, nor will it return to the classroom this semester.
In a letter to students from UPike President Dr. Burton Webb, the university notified students that the spring commencement planned for May 2 at Appalachian Wireless Arena is now canceled outright. University staff are exploring options for a virtual ceremony, but are seeking suggestions from those affected by the cancellation.
“The deans, along with the executive staff, the provost and I are working on the development of a virtual commencement ceremony for all of our graduates,” Webb says in the letter. “We will send more information as those plans develop, but if you have ideas, please pass them along.”
The letter also says students graduating in spring 2020 are welcome to take part in UPike’s December commencement and walk across the stage just as they would have in the now-cancelled May commencement.
The university also announced that classes will not return to the classroom before the end of the semester. In his letter, Webb says the last day for students was scheduled for April 24, but since Gov. Andy Beshear has asked schools in Kentucky to remain closed until at least April 20, face-to-face instruction will not be resuming this semester.
Webb says in the letter that a plan is being drafted to allow students to return to campus to move out of their residence halls. Students currently living on campus are welcome to stay until the end of the current semester, Webb says.
Webb also says a plan is being drafted to refund a portion of monies paid for room and board.
“As you can imagine, this is more difficult than it might appear,” Webb says. “We are still working through all of the variables and will make a decision soon. As soon as we can finalize the details, we will send that information along to you.”