/UM to extend online instruction, postpone commencement
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UM to extend online instruction, postpone commencement

The University of Montevallo will continue online instruction throughout the Spring semester and will postpone commencement. 

On March 20, in an email sent out by the University Montevallo, it was announced that students would not be returning to in-person classes during the spring semester. 

“I am very sorry to relay that, due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, we will extend the distance learning model currently deployed through the end of the semester,” stated UM President Dr. John Stewart in an email to students Friday. 

The University also announced that Commencement would be postponed  until Aug. 7. 

“This is a heart wrenching decision but we wish to honor our seniors and celebrate their hard work in person,” stated Stewart. “We pledge to make this Commencement a meaningful, remarkable occasion – our seniors deserve nothing less.” 

Stewart also mentioned that students will have an opportunity to retrieve belongings from residence halls will be given an opportunity to do so.  

The University is currently working on a way to allow students to access advising services for summer and fall semesters. 

Stewart assured that more details about these services and opportunities will follow next week. 

“I am deeply sorry that we cannot finish the semester in person, but know that our faculty will provide the most creative and effective instruction by distance that they possibly can.” said Stewart. “The UM family will let nothing imped our students’ path to graduation.” 

This decision comes as dozens of other Universities across the country have already postponed or cancelled their commencement ceremonies. CDC and Federal guidelines have also recommended against non-essential gatherings of more than 10 individuals at a time. 

Governor Kay Ivey, announced on Thursday, March 19 that all gatherings of 25 or more people were prohibited statewide through April 5. The Governor extended the restrictions which limit bars and restaurants in Shelby County to only providing take out services, to apply to the entire state in an effort to control the spread of coronavirus.  

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health there have been 106 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Alabama. 

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Waid Jones was the editor-in-chief of The Alabamian during the 2019–2020 academic year. In 2018, while managing editor of The Alabamian, he received the Veterans of Influence Rising Star Award from the Birmingham Business Journal. Prior to coming to UM he was in the U.S. Marine Corps for two and a half years. Jones graduated with a degree in political science from UM in 2020. He is currently the news editor for the Jackson County Sentinel in Scottsboro, Alabama.