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MSU commencement postponed, classes to remain online through end of semester

March 14, 2020
A moment from the Fall 2019 Commencement ceremony at Breslin Center on Dec. 14, 2019.
A moment from the Fall 2019 Commencement ceremony at Breslin Center on Dec. 14, 2019. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

MSU Class of 2020's commencement ceremonies have been postponed due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, according to a recent email from President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.

The decision to postpone comes after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prohibited assembly of more than 250 people until early April on Friday.

“We will make every effort to reschedule and allow our Class of 2020 an appropriate time and place to celebrate their successful Spartan journey,” Stanley said in the statement.

Virtual instruction has also been extended to the end of the semester, including finals.

Students are encouraged to return to their permanent residences and do not need to plan for the original possibility of returning to campus by April 20, Stanley said in the email. However, campus will remain open for students unable to return home.

“We recognize that for some students MSU is their permanent residence and we will continue to care for them during this time,” Stanley said in the email. “The campus does remain open. Also, many of our international students are in unique situations and we continue to work with them to provide the best solutions possible.” 

Stanley also said in the statement that recent student lines at East Lansing bars concerned him.

Students in the colleges of human medicine, nursing, osteopathic medicine and veterinary medicine will have unique requirements and should expect additional guidance from the deans of their respective colleges soon, according to the email.

Stanley said that he encourages students that live off-campus — Greek housing, co-ops, apartments, and houses — to consider where they will be safest and return or stay there.

In addition, dining halls will remain open with limited hours with no more than 250 people being allowed in a dining hall at a time. Starbucks locations at the Broad Art Museum, Broad College of Business and Wells Hall will be closed as well as the Panera at Minskoff Pavilion.

“The spread of the novel coronavirus is very serious, and our students need to understand the critical importance of social distancing and how the virus can spread quickly in large crowds,” Stanley said in the email. “I want to remind everyone again, that this is a time for personal responsibility and personal hygiene — make smart decisions to keep yourself healthy and please consider those around you.”

To keep up to date on MSU’s response to COVID-19, the university has set up a website: 

This is a developing story. Stay with The State News online and on social media for more information on how COVID-19 is affecting the MSU and East Lansing community.

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