Sweet Briar officials are postponing the college's graduation originally planned for May 16 on the Amherst campus due to the coronavirus, according to the college's website.
"In the coming days, we will be thinking through all of the possible options for honoring our seniors and recognizing their accomplishments," a message from Sweet Briar President Meredith Woo posted on the college's website said. "Likewise, we know that our spring traditions are incredibly important to our community. We want to take some time to think carefully about how best to handle them. We’re working with the Office of Student Life, the Student Government Association and other student leaders to advise us on the best way to do this."
In response to the pandemic, Sweet Briar recently suspended all events on campus and has implemented remote courses. The college cannot encourage anyone to travel and Woo assures students the residence hall rooms are locked and belongings are safe.
"We advise students to leave items in their rooms until it is safe to travel," Woo said in the online message.
Students can contact the Office of Student Life at (434) 381-6134 for immediate needs and assistance.
"We know how disappointing this is," Woo said in the message. "Spring is a special time at Sweet Briar and we should be here together to honor our traditions and celebrate with you. That we cannot do so is a loss to us all and I am deeply sorry for the circumstances that led to this decision."
In the college's most recent online video post, Woo said the college is continuing its work "without a glitch" and is planning for the short-term and long-term economic challenges ahead to the pandemic's many effects on the country's way of life.
Remote classes are going well, she said in the post, and added applications and deposits for admissions are up 19% and 29%, respectively, compared to this time last year. Woo said the college's main focus is the health and well-being of the Sweet Briar community.
"Health is everything ..." Woo said in the video post. "We will stay together as a family and will have each others' back."