CMC cancels in-person spring commencement ceremonies, looking at alternate ways to celebrate graduates

A decorated graduation cap at a CMC Rifle graduation ceremony in 2017.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent | file

Colorado Mountain College on Wednesday joined other college institutions in the state in canceling in-person spring graduation ceremonies at all campuses, in the ongoing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“These precautions that are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (in accordance with) mandated restrictions on public gatherings, and an abundance of caution to keep its graduates, their families and guests, employees, and community members safe,” the college said in a statement.

College leadership is considering alternate arrangements to celebrate CMC’s 2020 graduates to be announced in the coming weeks. Updated information will be posted at

Several other colleges in Colorado have already announced that they are canceling spring graduation ceremonies due to the new public health protocols, including CU Boulder, UC-Colorado Springs and the Univeristy of Northern Colorado.

“In these unprecedented times, our first priority is for students to remain healthy and complete their spring coursework on schedule, if possible,” CMC President and CEO Carrie Besnette Hauser said in a news release issued just after 9 a.m. Wednesday as the CMC Board of Trustees was convening a tele-meeting in part to discuss college-related issues around COVID-19.

“Our faculty and staff are putting all of their energy into keeping our students on track through online and alternate course delivery,” Hauser continued in the release. “We understand how disappointing it is for students who will not have the chance to participate in commencement this May, but hope they know how proud we are of them and their accomplishments.”

Graduation ceremonies for CMC campuses in Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Summit, Lake and Routt counties typically take place in late April and early May.

During the meeting with Trustees Wednesday morning, Hauser said the college is looking at potential alternate dates down the road for commencement ceremonies to take place. But that will depend on how long the current public health crisis plays out. 

CMC had secured a slate of commencement speakers for graduations to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

“They have been notified and will be invited back should alternate dates be determined later this year,” the release said.

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