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Wayne State University announced Tuesday it will postpone spring commencement exercises to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Keith Whitfield, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, told students the university regretted having to make the decision and recognizes they all had been working hard to earn their degrees.

"We understand that commencement is an important milestone, one worthy of the traditional pomp and circumstance," Whitfield wrote. "You have worked long hours to earn a degree and we, like you, looked forward to celebrating this day with you and your family and friends. Know that this news as disappointing to us as it is you."

The large number of graduates, along with those who would travel to attend with students, and government restrictions on larger gatherings, forced the university had to postpone the events, Whitfield said.

"One thing that is not cancellable due to the coronavirus, thankfully, is the conferring of degrees for students who have fulfilled their requirements," Whitfield continued. "Please rest assured that graduates will receive their degrees." 

The ceremonies were scheduled April 29 and 30 at the Fox Theatre.

To keep students and staff informed about other issues around the coronavirus, Wayne State University has set up a student information section on its COVID-19 website, which also includes a place to pose questions

WSU joins the University of Michigan and Michigan State University in delaying commencement because of the coronavirus.

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