As follow up to President Schlissel's message to you yesterday related to the COVID-19, Acting Provost Collins and I are writing to share with you the letter we sent to families last evening (see below). In it, we shared with them the letter you received and also provide some additional context about commencement that we believe you'll find helpful to know.
We wish to reinforce, per President Schlissel's message, the importance of you moving home as soon as possible, if that is an option for you. We know that some students need to remain on campus because they do not have other options; for those of you who can, you really should move home now. Please remember to complete the survey to indicate your status.
Regarding commencement, we know this is deeply disappointing to you and the whole UM community. We will find another date for a commencement for the Class of 2020, and be assured that the graduates will be part of those discussions. We will share that information as soon as we can. For now, we are putting our collective attention to the safety and wellbeing of you and our community.
Here is the letter we sent to families:
Dear Parents and Families,
We are writing to provide information about the University of Michigan’s response to COVID-19. We know many of you are concerned and learning as much information as possible is of great value. Here is the message from President Mark S. Schlissel that was sent to campus today. To inform planning and support, please encourage your student to advise of their status via a survey link in the President’s message. We also want to offer more information and context on the cancellation of our commencement ceremonies scheduled for the end of the semester.
We know that this decision is very upsetting for many of our graduates and their families. Our students work incredibly hard to reach this milestone, and those who earn a Michigan degree deserve to be celebrated with their friends, professors, families and loved ones. Commencement is one of our favorite times of the year, as well.
At the same time, we want commencement to be safe – for our graduates, the hundreds of employees who prepare for and work during the ceremonies, and the tens of thousands who join us to celebrate. The health and well-being of our community is our highest priority. Large gatherings are not safe right now, and we don’t know when they will be. The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, and before asking so many individuals to travel and gather in celebration, we want it to be safe. We also wanted to give everyone as much notice as possible. We will find another date for a commencement for the Class of 2020, and the graduates will be part of those discussions. We will share that information as soon as we can.
The University is committed to providing ongoing updates and a comprehensive FAQ page to assist students and families in gathering as much information as possible.
We are reminding students of the many resources available to them. If you have a student in need, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.
Some key resources to highlight at this time include:
- University Health Service
207 Fletcher Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1050
- CAPS Counseling and Psychological Services
530 South State Street, Suite 4079
- Dean of Students
530 S. State Street, Suite 3100
- Housing Information Office
1011 Student Activities Building (SAB)
515 E Jefferson St.
- Center for Campus Involvement
530 S. State Street, Suite 3410
- Office of the Ombuds
6015 Fleming Administration Bldg.
503 Thompson Street
- International Center
1500 Student Activities Building 515 E. Jefferson Street
Susan M. Collins
Acting Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Simone Himbeault Taylor
Interim Vice President for Student Life