Breaking news

NAU President Rita Cheng sent an email announcement to NAU students and faculty Friday afternoon regarding the university’s plans for spring 2021 commencement, as well as the start of the upcoming fall 2021 semester. 

Due to COVID-19, NAU’s class of 2021 will have a virtual commencement ceremony, similar to the spring 2020 ceremony, Cheng said in the email.

“While we are making great strides in vaccination rates and seeing infection rates decrease, we believe it is premature to gather in large groups for an indoor celebration,” Cheng said.

Within her announcement, Cheng also expressed how proud she and her colleagues are of the class of 2021’s achievements and resilience. She also stated more information regarding the spring 2021 commencement ceremony will be available in the coming weeks.

Cheng also announced NAU currently plans to return to campus fully in person for the fall 2021 semester. The university is also prepared to alter its plans if need be and is continuing to consult public health officials on the matter.

“As we continue our successful spring semester, we are glad to see the significant reduction of COVID-19 cases nationally and the increasing vaccination rates, which contribute to our sense of optimism for the fall,” Cheng said. “We are confident that our planning will allow NAU to continue to deliver on its national reputation for a quality education and the need to provide access to all students in Arizona.”

According to Cheng’s email, NAU has administered 3,221 first doses and 2,270 second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to date. As of Friday afternoon, the university is also currently managing 63 COVID-19 cases on campus. Updates of NAU’s statistics regarding the pandemic can be found on the university’s coronavirus web page.