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03-05-21 From the Chancellor

Dear UAS Community,

As you know, last year we celebrated our graduates with a virtual commencement ceremony. While we hoped that we could return to an in person celebration this year, we are still not out of the woods with the COVID pandemic, and once again we will hold our ceremony virtually. 

Some of you have expressed a desire for a modified ceremony with some in-person elements, however we feel it is premature to do so, and have decided to maintain our current status for COVID restrictions in our communities.  Like you, we would rather be in person but there are a lot of considerations that go into a decision like this.  Safety is our number one priority for students, staff, and faculty. 

Because we are once again not able to celebrate in person, UAS has refunded graduation fees for Spring 2021.  Our  graduates have the option  to walk at a future ceremony.  

We vow to make the best of this situation. There are benefits to having a virtual ceremony.  This year all three ceremonies will be “released” on Friday, April 30 at 5 pm Alaska Standard Time.  In normal times participation by friends and family is often limited due to travel requirements and other barriers, however with the ceremony being virtual, it is available to all who want to celebrate our students.  Many graduates will schedule watch parties for friends and families so they can experience the event together.  Alternatively, others will elect to  watch at their convenience, as the site will remain online for a period of  time following the release. 

Many of our students and faculty are learning and teaching from a distance, and most of our staff are still working from home.  We miss all of you.  It has been a difficult year.  Let’s be sure to take the time to reach out to one another. Things will be different when we return but we will return.  We look forward to celebrating our students’ achievements and you should be proud - we want to celebrate you and we also want everyone to remain safe. 

Please feel free to reach out to me at any time.  I work for you.

Dr. Karen Carey
UAS Chancellor