By JAYCIE DOERR & EMMA BIRD, NEWS3 Reporters
MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) – Western Illinois University has announced that the fall commencement ceremony will not be held again this year.
After the commencement committee considered COVID-19 guidelines, university administrators recommended cancelling fall commencement and merge it with the spring ceremony. Interim Provost Billy Clow answered some questions about how the decision was made.
“I firmly believe that everyone worked hard to try to consider the best options,” Clow said. “You’re never going to be able to make it so that it works out for everybody the way you want it to.”
The ceremony in May of 2021 was the first in recent history to be outdoors, and despite some rain, Clow said it was still enjoyable. He said while it is not ideal, it is the safest option for now and that he hopes things will return to normal in the future.
Even though things aren’t back to normal, Western Illinois University has still found ways to give students the send-off they deserve through virtual ceremonies.
“No one, whether it was the faculty [or] staff that planned it or made it happen, or the students that were apart of it, nobody was that excited about it,” Clow said. “We needed to do something. There is no way to replace a face-to-face commencement.”