UMass Amherst commencement, related weekend activities postponed

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Students who looked forward to celebrating the end of their college experience in May won’t be able to do so as UMass Amherst announced the decision to postpone commencement and all activities related to that weekend. 

In a message to the campus community on Tuesday, UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said, “because of the ongoing prohibition of large gatherings and our own efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19, commencement, which was scheduled for Friday, May 8th, and all commencement weekend activities will be postponed.” 

This decision was made with a heavy heart, knowing what a seminal moment this day is in the lives of our students, their families, and the entire UMass community. Unfortunately, at this point, with so much uncertainty about when life will return to normal, I cannot give you a definitive answer for how and when we will honor our graduates, but I can assure you that we will. As I work with our commencement team to develop alternative plans, I invite input from our students for whom this day means so much. 

UMass Amherst Chancellor, Kumble Subbaswamy

Students are welcomed to share ideas by emailing them to

Since confirmed cases of coronavirus were reported in Massachusetts, the college has been taking steps to prevent the spread including switching in-person classes to remote learning and ordering students to move out of campus housing.

I also want to express my gratitude to every member of our campus community for pulling together to confront the unprecedented challenge we are facing. Our faculty are taking extraordinary measures to prepare for remote learning; our staff are working hard to ensure continuity of campus operations; and our students are proving their resilience by accepting this difficult transition with grace and patience.

UMass Amherst Chancellor, Kumble Subbaswamy

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