3 universities in Southwest Nashville cancel, postpone graduation ceremonies

Belmont University, Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University will not hold graduation ceremonies in May. (Courtesy Belmont University)
Belmont University, Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University will not hold graduation ceremonies in May. (Courtesy Belmont University)

Belmont University, Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University will not hold graduation ceremonies in May. (Courtesy Belmont University)

Belmont University, Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University have all canceled or postponed graduation ceremonies originally scheduled for May, according to announcements from each university. All three colleges suspended in-person classes earlier in March to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Vanderbilt University announced March 25 that it has canceled all commencement ceremonies and related activities for this academic year. Instead of postponing the May 8 ceremony to a date later this year, interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente said the university is committed to hosting a set of events for the class of 2020 in May 2021.

“This has been an incredibly difficult decision," Wente said in a release. "Commencement is a sacred time that we all share across the Vanderbilt community as a way of recognizing and celebrating the remarkable achievements and diligent work of our newest graduates. Yet we are in a time in history that demands—first and foremost—the protection and safety of our students and their families.”

Belmont University postponed its graduation ceremonies scheduled for May 2 to Aug. 7, according to an announcement from President Bob Fisher.

"Contributing to our thought process in delaying this decision until now was a strong desire to not conclude the on-campus, in-classroom experience for our students—especially our graduating seniors—unless absolutely necessary," Fisher said in a release. "But nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of our students, and I believe this to be the most responsible course of action."


Additionally, Lipscomb University has also canceled its commencement ceremony May 2. According to its website, university officials are still working on plans to reschedule.