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story.lead_photo.caption Walkways on the campus of Lincoln University in Jefferson City appear vacant after the school closed Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in response to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Mid-Missouri. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / Fulton Sun.
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Lincoln University and State Technical College of Missouri's members of the Class of 2020 are planned to have the finish to their college careers they were anticipating, just not necessarily when they originally expected.

LU, in Jefferson City, announced Wednesday that the Class of 2020's graduation ceremony is scheduled Aug. 1.

The ceremony originally was scheduled for May 9 but was postponed on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brandon McElwain, spokesman for State Tech, in Linn, said the college's graduation had been postponed until May 30.

State Tech's graduation also had been originally scheduled for May 9. The college was expecting more than 650 graduates, McElwain said.

May 30 was the "earliest realistic timeline" for State Tech to have graduation on campus, McElwain said, adding that if it comes to look like May 30 would also no longer work, graduation will likely be canceled.

"Additional details will be released at a later time, but we wanted to ease the minds of our graduating seniors that while we cannot salute your accomplishments as originally planned, you will be celebrated as you deserve," LU President Jerald Jones Woolfolk said in a letter posted on the school's Facebook page of LU's decision on an August date.

"In the meantime, I remind all students to put your best effort into finishing out this year. Stay focused on your education. Be mindful of your health. We will get through this together. We are Lincoln," Woolfolk added.

LU's Class of 2020 is expected to have 381 graduates, and graduates will be mailed their diplomas after May 9, university spokeswoman Misty Young said.

"The university will utilize its current policies to calculate GPAs and award honors designations," Young added.

All university courses are being offered online or through other alternative means.

LU also closed Wednesday, with the closure to all but essential staff planned to last through April 12.

Woolfolk said Tuesday that 68 students had been given permission to stay on campus, where they will continue to have access to food and library services.

The students who remain for the rest of the semester will reside in Anthony Hall. All others on campus are expected to move out by March 29.

This article, first posted at 12:40 p.m. March 25, 2020, was updated at 4:50 p.m. with new information.

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