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The University of Georgia announced on Oct. 23 that it will hold its fall 2020 undergraduate and graduate ceremonies virtually. The commencement ceremony was scheduled for Dec. 18 in Stegeman Coliseum.

The decision was made after consulting with faculty leaders and public health officials, according to a UGA Today release. The university talked with the Educational Affairs Committee of University Council and other members of UGA’s Preventative Measures Advisory Board. 

The main reason for canceling the in-person ceremony is to prevent the increased potential for spreading COVID-19 during the winter months, which is also why UGA decided to move classes online after Thanksgiving break.

Last week’s spring 2020 commencement was held in person at Sanford Stadium with social distancing enforced. 6,027 tickets were scanned for the ceremony, and 8,385 tickets were distributed to students, according to UGA public relations coordinator Sara Freeland.

The University of Florida and the University of South Carolina have also canceled their in-person fall 2020 commencements.

The university has not yet made a decision for spring 2021 commencement plans.