Caboni announces ‘reshaping’ for spring commencement, praises students and faculty

WKU president Timothy Caboni announced the university is suspending in-person classes for the rest of the semester. 

Jack Dobbs

The Spring 2020 Commencement is being “reshaped” for graduating students in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

In an email from WKU President Timothy Caboni, the university is engaging with students to find a plan that works for them.

“It’s especially important that we let the voices of our graduating seniors guide our plans,” Caboni said in the email. “Once we have a framework that meets their desires, we will announce the plan to the WKU Community.”

Caboni also praised members of the WKU community for providing assistance to students during the pandemic.

“During this unusual time, our colleagues and students have stepped-up, illustrating the care we have for one another and the true meaning of our WKU family,” Caboni said.

In the email, Caboni said alumni have “adopted” the 46 students that are currently staying on campus. Many of those alumni are faculty and staff of WKU. 

Bob Skipper, director of media relations for WKU, said the alumni are checking in on the students staying on campus and are even providing them with care packages. Skipper said each student has their own alum.

“These are at risk students, many of whom have no home to go back to or do not feel safe doing so,” Caboni said.

On March 5, members of the Chinese Student and Scholar Association dropped off personal protective equipment at the presidential residence. Caboni said the donations will benefit first responders.

“Their work to collect this PPE equipment will assist greatly our health professionals on the front line of this battle,” Caboni said.

Caboni also thanked the university’s coronavirus taskforce for the efforts being made to keep the campus community up to date on important information about the pandemic. According to the email, 25 messages have been relayed by the taskforce.

“During times of uncertainty, many of us will experience a heightened level of anxiety and fear about the future,” Caboni said. “Let me reassure you that we will emerge on the other side of this pandemic successful and well positioned because of our work together.”

News reporter Jack Dobbs can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @jackrdobbs.