Ole Miss Students, Parents React to Postponed Graduation


Story contributed by Erin Donaldson
Broadcast journalism student

Hold on to those tassels a little longer, seniors.

The decision to postpone Ole Miss’ 2020 Commencement ceremony left senior political science major Sarah Gallagher and her mom, Kim, more than a little disappointed.

“I’m super sad about it. I think it’ll be moved to another date, but I definitely don’t think it’ll be in May,” Sarah said.

UM’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Jim Zook said it’s too early to predict how or when graduating seniors will be recognized.

“Public health considerations are going to drive any decision about timing, and we just don’t know enough at this point to know when that will be,” Zook said.

However, he did discourage any parents from holding on to the existing hotel or other reservations they may have had in conjunction with the original graduation date of May 9.

The Gallagher family lives in Virginia and was one of those with a booking to stay in Oxford for commencement weekend.

“I held on to it until we got official word from Ole Miss, and once we got official word I was like, ‘Okay, there’s no reason to hang on to it,’ so we did let it go,” said Kim, who added that she did get a full refund.

The official postponement announcement came on March 19 in an email from University Chancellor Glenn Boyce.

“…we have postponed the 2020 Commencement ceremonies to an unspecified future date. Commencement in the Grove and other beautiful venues on our campus represents one of our most beloved traditions, and this is a sad but necessary decision for our university community,” the email read.

Sarah said she has one suggestion. She said she could picture the university hosting a December graduation ceremony, which could include all of those students who have completed their degrees in May, August and the fall 2020 semester.