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Indiana University of Pennsylvania President Dr. Michael A. Driscoll announced Friday that commencement exercises scheduled for Sept. 12 for May and August graduates will be virtual rather than on campus.

“Since we announced our plans for an in-person commencement ceremony, we have seen growing concern about COVID-19’s transmission and more restrictive guidelines for large indoor gatherings,” Driscoll said. “This also means there will be no in-person, on-campus departmental ceremonies in September.”

Driscoll apologized for the disappointment.

“Commencement is one of the high points for our university, and I will miss wishing you well in person as you begin the next chapter of your life and career,” the IUP president said. “But, no matter how the ceremony takes place, it will not lessen our pride in what you have accomplished or the gratitude we feel to your families and friends and faculty and staff members who have worked hard to help you achieve this important milestone.”

The university said the virtual ceremony will be posted on the iup.edu website at 9 a.m. Sept. 12.

“The virtual commencement will include many aspects of the traditional on-campus ceremony, including reading of graduates’ names,” Driscoll said. “To honor you, we invite you to submit a photo that will be shown during the ceremony as your name is read.”

The university said IUP’s Office of the Registrar will send graduates more information next week.