Commencement rescheduled, student resources available for online learning
March 20, 2020
Spring Break is ending, and while you are returning to classes next week, I recognize that your BGSU experience is greatly impacted by the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. Though we will be completing the semester through online teaching and learning, we are committed to delivering a high-quality academic experience.
This global pandemic has also disrupted your life and possibly your student employment, housing accommodations and involvement in student activities, as well as the many opportunities that are afforded to you as a student of a comprehensive, residential university.
I am especially thinking of our students who are graduating this spring semester. While your official degree will still be awarded this May, you will not get to experience the memorable weeks leading up to commencement on our campuses.
Commencement is a culminating celebration and milestone, recognizing your hard work. However, given Ohio’s event restrictions and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations, we must reschedule our 297th commencement ceremonies for a later date. While these events are delayed, they will not be canceled. The Class of 2020 deserves the opportunity to celebrate this significant moment and their accomplishments, and BGSU plans to do just that at a later date.
These are unprecedented times. Whether you are graduating or returning student, we are here for you and we are working to make your student experience, while virtual, engaging and meaningful. Today, you heard directly from Provost Whitehead about our plans to assist you during your online learning, and I want to emphasize what that means:
- Each student will have a BGSU staff member connect with them, and they will be your additional contact during this period.
- The Career Center will reach out to each graduating student to follow up regarding their post-graduation plans.
- We have assembled a variety of resources on our website, including a keep learning page that will assist you with all of your online needs, including access to technology support and tutoring. Check it out at bgsu.edu/keeplearning.
In addition, we are committed to offering a housing, dining and parking credit/refund model to all students for any of their unused plans. To ensure our decisions do not affect your financial aid status, we are waiting on guidance from the U.S. Department of Education regarding the timing of these credits and refunds. Those students on a payment plan have already received communication from the Office of the Bursar.
Please know I am grateful for how our community has come together to overcome this difficult situation, and we need to continue to support one another. Your health and safety, as well as the health and safety of those around you, remain the University's top priority. Please be mindful, especially if you traveled somewhere for Spring Break, to limit your group gatherings and social distance yourself from friends. Also, remember that even the simplest health measures matter, such as washing your hands. I will communicate with you more as we make decisions in response to the COVID-19 situation.
Rodney K. Rogers, Ph.D.
P.S. Your Netflix binge can only last so long. Even in these challenging times, be curious, harness technology and never stop learning. Because of our library, the world is at our fingertips. You can watch The Met Opera's Turandot performance, and our College of Musical Arts has a great YouTube channel that they will be adding to. I also visited the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam last night and got a close-up look at the largest collection of works by this iconic artist.