LOGAN – Utah State University announced in a tweet Monday afternoon they had rescheduled the annual commencement ceremony to Aug. 28 and 29.
Within minutes, the tweet had nearly 30 retweets and more than 100 likes, and USU seniors are rejoicing.
“I got so excited,” said Ketzel Morales, a senior studying global communications. “I told my mom and she said late is better than never.”
USU spokeswoman Emilie Wheeler said the university’s commencement committee has met daily and plans to continue doing so to work out details.
“We’ll be talking about anything and everything,” Wheeler said. “We’ve had very few details come out.”
When asked about whether or not the university will help international and out-of-state students find temporary housing, Wheeler said, “we’ll be talking about anything and everything…if we can turn this into more of an opportunity for people who are remote then we will look at those options.”
USU senior Tarren Jessop, who is studying psychology, designed a survey last week inviting USU seniors to give their input on whether or not they’d like a postponed ceremony — and how far in the future they would return to Logan for such an event.
“I know that Utah State loves its students, wants our input, and genuinely seeks to do what is best for us,” Jessop wrote in a description of the survey. “They are just as heart broken over these decisions as we are, and are working hard to find the best solutions possible.”
Jessop submitted her survey to administrators Monday, and Wheeler said they received input from “a lot more students than we expected,” and the overwhelming consensus was students would be willing to come back and would rather return to Logan for an in-person ceremony than a virtual ceremony.
Other students expressed excitement when the news hit.
“Overall, I’m really glad it’s back on,” said Jiyi Choi, a senior studying global communications.
Choi accepted a job in Lehi set to begin this summer, so she believes she’ll be able to return to Logan for commencement, but worries her family members, most of whom live in South Korea, may not be able to return easily.
“It really depends because if graduation isn’t planned as usual then my family has to reorganize the whole thing,” she said. “My dad can’t just leave his business and then come here for a week.”
Choi also worried some of her former classmates may not be able to attend because they are moving around the globe.
I’m worried that not a lot of my classmates from my major will be there because everyone’s moving on and it’s hard to say goodbye to a lot of people,” she said. “It’s hard, I wanted that kind of closure, I wanted to say a proper goodbye to all my classmates that I studied and struggled with the past couple years.”
University officials chose the late August dates because they had a small window of time between summer ending and the fall school semester beginning.
The freshman orientation course, called University Connections, ends the 28th, so graduates will overlap with connections students, but the fall semester does not begin until Aug. 31.
“The graduates are going to be overlapping that a little bit and we’re in the works talking about how all of that is going to work,” Wheeler said. “We wanted to get it done and over with before school actually starts.”