COVID-19 pandemic moves University of Portland graduation online

Classes remain online for the rest of the semester

By Haviland Stewart | March 20, 2020 2:14pm
UP’s graduation ceremonies are moving online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Media Credit: Molly Lowney / The Beacon

UP is moving its graduation ceremony online due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement came on Friday afternoon from University President Fr. Mark Poorman in an email to all students, faculty, staff and parents. The ceremony was originally to take place in the Chiles Center on May 3.

“The Office of the Provost is developing plans for an online Commencement and will communicate those plans as they are developed,” Poorman’s email said. “Traditional Commencement Weekend activities such as the ROTC Commissioning, Nurses’ Pinning, and Baccalaureate Mass will either be canceled or held in a virtual format.”

Poorman also announced that all classes will remain online for the remainder of the spring semester. The Office of the Provost plans to provide more details in the near future, Poorman said. 

Students still living in residence halls will be allowed to stay on campus until the end of the spring semester. Poorman’s email said the Office of Residence Life will contact students with more information about moving out and retrieving their belongings. 

UP joins dozens of other colleges and universities that have cancelled or postponed in-person graduation ceremonies. 

On March 16, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued an executive order banning all gatherings of more than 25 people for at least four weeks because of the pandemic. 

As of Friday morning, Oregon had 114 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Havi Stewart is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at

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