Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech) officials announced this week that the 2021 commencement ceremonies scheduled for June 12 will be held virtually, as a safety measure for all involved. There will be a ceremony for the College of Engineering, Technology and Management and another for the College of Health, Arts and Sciences; graduates from the Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro campuses, the satellite sites of Chemeketa and Seattle, and the online programs will be included in each.
Options for ceremonies were carefully considered but given the unknowns about when Oregon’s large-gathering limitations will be lifted, and the inaccessibility to the vaccine in the communities visitors may come from, it is uncertain when an in-person event could be held. Typically, more than 1,500 graduates, faculty, staff and guests attend an in-person ceremony.
Oregon Tech president, Dr. Nagi Naganathan said, “This is not a decision that we made easily or take lightly. We looked at the many factors involved, focusing on the health and safety of our students, their families, and others who will participate in the ceremonies including our alumni, university employees, and community members.”
“The decision to forgo in-person ceremonies is a great disappointment to all of us, and especially to our graduating students and their families and friends. The format of the commencement or the current circumstances cannot in any way diminish their sense of accomplishment. On the contrary, it is an amazing feat that our students continue to focus and will complete their education during such challenging times. We are very proud of our graduates and their achievements,” Dr. Naganathan added.
Additional information on Oregon Tech’s COVID-19 response is available at www.oit.edu/coronavirus.###