Breaking News
More () »

Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Carl Albert State College pushes 2020 fall graduation ceremonies to the spring due to COVID-19

Carl Albert State College announced Tuesday that they would be postponing fall graduation ceremonies to the spring of 2021 due to COVID-19.

POTEAU, Okla. — Carl Albert State College announced Tuesday (Oct. 6) that they would be postponing graduation ceremonies to the spring of 2021 due to COVID-19. 

The next graduation ceremony for Carl Albert in Poteau, Okla. was scheduled for Saturday, November 21, 2020. Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the university made the decision to push back the 2020 fall graduation ceremony to the spring of next year. 

“We, our students, staff, and faculty, have done a tremendous job with our efforts to mitigate the spread of this virus,” said President Jay Falkner. “Our leadership team feels that holding a large ceremony on campus, with limited ability to socially distance, would undermine the efforts of our entire campus community toward keeping our campus safe. It is unfortunate, but a decision we feel is in the best interest of our entire Viking family.”

Details about the spring 2021 graduation festivities will be announced at a later date. 

“The decision to cancel this fall’s graduation ceremony is not a reflection of our joy and admiration of our graduates and their accomplishments. The year 2020 will forever be remembered as a year of trial and triumph. Our graduates should remember that they overcame much adversity to achieve their goals this year,” said Falkner. “On behalf of our leadership team, and the Board of Regents, I wish to convey my deepest regrets over this decision, but also my utmost esteem for your dedication and diligence. You should be proud of what you have accomplished.”

As of Tuesday, October 6, 2020, Le Flore County has seen 1,308 COVID-19 cases, with 20 of the cases resulting in death, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health

RELATED: Carl Albert State College releases fall reopening plan

RELATED: Ex-jail employees in Okla. charged for playing 'Baby Shark' on repeat