FMCC cancels graduation ceremony

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton-Montgomery Community College on Saturday announced the cancellation of the school’s annual academic awards ceremony and commencement ceremony scheduled for May 19 and 20 respectively.

The announcement regarding graduation activities came a week after FMCC announced all classes for the remainder of the spring semester would move to remote instruction with the campus closed to non-essential personnel in keeping with all State University of New York schools following an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo that took effect on March 22 temporarily banning all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason statewide to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

According to the announcement released by FMCC, the decision to cancel graduation activities was made at this time to give students and families certainty while encouraging individuals to stay home as recommended by health officials to limit possible transmission of the coronavirus. The college is currently considering alternate options to honor the achievements of graduating students at a later date.

“We know this is a highly anticipated time for our graduating students, and we realize how much they will miss the recognition and closure that a commencement ceremony would bring. Please know that this is a difficult decision for us to make, but by doing so, we are taking the best action we can to protect the health and safety of our students, family members, faculty, staff and those in the greater community,” the announcement states.

FMCC was scheduled this year to hold its 55th annual commencement ceremony at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady on May 20. Proctors earlier this month announced the postponement of all public performances, movies and rentals scheduled at the theater from March 13 through April 12 due to state-imposed restrictions on public gatherings. Cuomo on Sunday announced the extension of restrictions on public gatherings and the operation of non-essential businesses through at least April 15 subject to re-evaluation and possible further extension.

Students eligible to graduate from FMCC based on their academic standings in May will still be able to do so on time. These students will receive their degree certificates in the mail later this summer.

“In the meantime, we hope our graduates know that everyone at Fulton-Montgomery Community College is incredibly proud of and inspired by their achievements. This has been an exceptionally difficult time for us all, and we appreciate the patience, determination and resolve that you’ve demonstrated,” the release states.

Students who pre-ordered caps and gowns for graduation this year through the Raider Trader Store campus bookstore will be eligible for a full refund.

By Patricia Older

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