MONTEREY, Calif. (NPS) – In order to reduce the risk of transmission posed by the novel Coronavirus, the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) has canceled the university’s Winter Quarter graduation ceremony, scheduled for March 27, 2020.
The public health situation involving the Coronavirus is rapidly evolving, and this action was determined necessary to ensure the health and welfare of NPS students, faculty and staff and their families, and to ensure readiness remains high.
“We are disappointed to have to cancel our upcoming graduation, and miss this momentous occasion to take pride in our students’ academic achievements,” said NPS President retired Vice Adm. Ann E. Rondeau. “Publicly conferring our credentials to our students is a celebration of individual commitment, persistence, perseverance and personal accomplishment. Given current circumstances, ensuring the health and welfare of our NPS personnel and their families must take priority.
“After a thorough risk assessment, we concluded that this level of gathering posed an unnecessary risk of exposure,” she continued. “We cancel this graduation out of an obligation to sustain NPS’ essential mission of providing graduate-level education, and out of an obligation to the worldwide mission our graduating students have been preparing for, and must execute.”
As a military institution, NPS’ must ensure students remain mission ready during their time on campus as they complete their studies, as well as report to their next duty stations healthy and ready to serve. The 170 graduating students, who have been invited by university President Rondeau to participate in a future ceremony, will still receive their diplomas privately.
“NPS has been a proud resident of the Monterey Peninsula for decades, and our primary focus now is prevention and preparedness to help prevent potential spread of the virus to the local community,” said Rondeau.
As of March 12, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 among NPS faculty, staff and students. The university is closely monitoring the developments of the COVID-19 situation and its potential impact on the NPS community. Leadership at NPS is developing contingency plans in accordance with higher guidance should further courses of action be necessary.