EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The University of Texas at El Paso postponed its Winter commencement ceremony until May 2021, the university announced Friday.

“We have decided to postpone the Winter Commencement ceremony until May 2021,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson in a statement. “In May, we will plan to hold a big, outdoor Commencement at Sun Bowl Stadium and invite graduates from spring, summer and fall 2020 to participate.”

The decision comes after UTEP officials surveyed 2020 graduates what they wanted — about 45% preferred a December in-person graduation. However, the university doesn’t believe it can feasibly hold a ceremony, or even multiple, ceremonies in current conditions.

“We tried a virtual ceremony in September and it was disappointing,” Wilson said. “It seemed more like a reminder of what we couldn’t do than a real recognition of your accomplishment.

“A year ago, my own daughter graduated from college,” she continued. “It was a really big deal and a wonderful day. We want to give that same experience to you and your families. I’m really sorry it won’t be in December.”

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