Updated March 18 at 12:11 p.m.
Purdue University’s in-person spring commencement ceremonies have been officially cancelled.
In a letter to students Tuesday, Purdue President Mitch Daniels said plans were underway to create a virtual ceremony. The school was scheduled to hold six graduations between May 15 and May 17 at Elliott Hall of Music, which contains seating for just over 6,000 people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines Sunday stipulating that holding events with 50 attendees or more was not recommended.
Daniels also said students would have the chance to participate in a more traditional graduation in the future.
“I know you are disappointed,” Daniels wrote. “So are we.”
Senior Myra Rademacher, an agricultural communications major, said her family had planned to travel from Oregon for the ceremony.
"We understand completely why it needs to happen, and we agree that it's for the best that it's cancelled," Rademacher said. "But it is unfortunate, and in that selfish sense we are upset that it can't happen, because it is something that you look forward to over the years."
Rademacher also stressed she was proud of her fellow senior classmates.
"One thing we always circle back to is: even though we're healthy, we know that we could potentially bring back something to people who aren't," Rademacher said.
On Monday, the university announced that in-person classes at Purdue would not resume for the remainder of the school year.