Aurora University

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - 18 May 2020

Commencement ceremonies will take place virtually on 24 July for GWC graduates and 2 August for AU graduates.

18 May 2020
COVID-19 Advisory 23.0

A message from Dr. Rebecca Sherrick:

When we left campus in mid-March, none of us knew what to expect in the weeks ahead, and so we left open the door to an April return and our May commencement ceremonies. Eventually it became clear that neither could take place. We took a deep breath, crossed our fingers and made graduation plans for later in the summer. Now I am writing to share the news that our 24 July commencement ceremony for George Williams College graduates and our 2 August celebrations for Aurora graduates will be virtual. Let me explain.

Since the stay-at-home orders were announced in March, we have been working behind the scenes to understand how such limitations would evolve over the summer. In Illinois, recent statements from the Governor indicate that restrictions on large gatherings likely will continue through the end of summer. While the situation is more fluid in Wisconsin, officials in the county where the GWC campus is located, have issued similar public health guidance to area citizens.

The university is obligated to abide by these restrictions as we work also to make the best of this bad situation. The pandemic has created great uncertainty. Our goal as a university community is to respond with clarity, honesty and empathy. And so, reluctantly, we have made the decision to hold our July and August ceremonies in a virtual format that will blend pomp and circumstance with a few surprises and lots of celebration. Please click here for complete information about the virtual commencement ceremonies.

The virus is testing all of us in new ways. Commencement ceremonies are a hallmark of the university experience. On the Aurora campus, we love the moment when the big tent is pitched on the Quad. At GWC, we anticipate the return of the pier to the lakefront and know that commencement soon will follow. Like you, I treasure the time we spend together to celebrate your achievements. Nothing means more to me than shaking your hands and handing you a diploma.

So if your plans bring you back to campus soon, pack up your family and give me an email alert. I will dress up in cap and gown and meet you in your favorite spot on campus for a conversation and handshake. Take care.