As further response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Portland announced cancellation of the spring 2020 commencement ceremony planned for Sunday, May 3. It will develop plans for a virtual format.

Online instruction, which began on March 18 to replace all in-person classes, will continue through the end of the spring term. Holy Cross Father Mark Poorman, president of the North Portland Catholic university, made the announcements Friday, March 20, in accordance with mandates from local, state and national health authorities.

The U.P. Office of the Provost is developing plans for how commencement will be celebrated online and will communicate those plans when finalized. Other traditional commencement weekend activities such as the Army and Air Force ROTC commissioning, the school of nursing pinning ceremony and the baccalaureate Mass will either be canceled or held in a virtual format.

“All of us at U.P. had hoped to avoid making these difficult announcements,” said Father Poorman. “However, the decisions I share today are rooted in a desire to keep members of the U.P. community safe, do our part as an institution to stem the tide of the pandemic, and offer members of our community ample time to make plans for the weeks and months ahead.”

Residence halls on campus were closed beginning March 14, with only a few students remaining due to special circumstances preventing returns to their homes or permanent residences. Dining halls, the health and counseling center, and other campus resources are still operational on a limited basis. Other university facilities and administrative offices are being managed by select personnel on site and other staff working remotely.