Nov 17, 2020 4:27 PM

K-State cancels fall commencement due to virus

Posted Nov 17, 2020 4:27 PM

MANHATTAN —Due to a rapid, uncontrolled increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the campus communities and throughout the state, Kansas State University is canceling commencement activities scheduled for Nov. 20-22. This includes ceremonies scheduled for the Manhattan and Salina campuses, according to a media release from KSU.

The university will hold a virtual recognition in December, details will be published on the commencement website.

"With hundreds of new cases announced in our host communities in the past few days, the trend line is absolutely going in the wrong direction," said Richard B. Myers, university president. "Concerns have been expressed by our students, faculty and staff not only for their personal health, but with a willingness to look out for the health of fellow K-Staters."

Capacity in the health care community was a major factor in the decision as medical providers and local hospitals are at or beyond capacity due to the recent surge in cases. University officials have been in close contact with county health departments with regard to local situations.

"We understand this will be a disappointment to our students, faculty and staff members who were looking forward to this celebration," said Charles Taber, provost and executive vice president. "Canceling now discourages family from visiting and gathering in Manhattan and Salina this weekend and ensures that commencement ceremonies do not become superspreading events for communities that are already COVID hot spots."

The university will be scaling back other events, including a virtual ribbon cutting for the new Morris Family Multicultural Student Center. Group tours are canceled and the event will be held outdoors to minimize risk for the limited number of participants.