PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – CMU is canceling its in-person commencement ceremonies due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter to Carnegie Mellon University students, President Farnam Jahanian says the commencement ceremonies scheduled on-campus for May 17 won’t go on as planned, based on CDC guidelines about mass gatherings.

Instead, there will be a virtual graduation at the end of the semester, and the letter says the university is “exploring ways we can celebrate the Class of 2020’s outstanding achievements together on campus in the next academic year.”

The letter goes on to say:

As with the other unparalleled steps we have taken as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have come to this decision in order to protect the health and well-being of our entire community and to comply with guidance by the CDC to avoid large gatherings. We also are making this call now to provide this year’s graduates and their families with as much time as possible to plan accordingly.