LIST: Indiana colleges move to online, cancel in-person commencement ceremonies

Indiana University campus and Purdue University campus (WTHR)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – More Indiana colleges and universities have announced that they are following the same changes to class instruction as other universities across the state amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19.


Monday, March 16, Purdue University announced that it will be moving to online class instruction for the rest of the spring semester.

The university says residence halls will remain open for students who must remain on campus, but any student who can move home/to a different location should do so.

Classes will resume remotely on March 23.

Traditional in-person commencement is canceled and will instead be held viturally. The university says details on an alternative virtual celebration will be shared with graduates soon.

"You have our deepest thanks for all you will do to help us continue our semester – from wherever you are," President Mitch Daniels said. "Boilermakers are exceptional people and we are so proud of how you have responded to this crisis to this point and all we know you will do to see us through it."

To read Purdue's full message to the community, click here.


As of Monday, March 16, Marian University announced that it will be finish the rest of the spring semester online.

In addition to all coursework being taught online for the remainder of the semester, all intercollegiate athletics are canceled, and students are encouraged to return to their permanent residences.

Marian says there will be no further practices conducted for any Marian University athletics program this semester.

"I can’t help but think of the foundational beliefs and traditions of Catholic higher education and how they apply to the situation in which we currently find ourselves," President Daniel J. Elsener said in a statement to the community. "While scientists and medical professionals work diligently to mitigate the severity of the major changes this virus is making in our lives, our faith can give us perspective and hope. We have much to be thankful for in our lives and should not take those blessings, or each other, for granted."


Rose-Hulman said returning to class on April 19 is no longer likely given the COVID-19 developments.

Instead, remote instruction will continue through the remainder of the spring academic quarter.


Butler University is extending its spring break before shifting to virtual classes into April.

The university announced late Wednesday the break would now extend through Wednesday, March 18. Starting March 19, all classes will be conducted online and finish online for the remainder of the semester.

A spokesperson for the university noted no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 have been reported on the Butler University campus.

The campus will remain open, but changes have been made to university events and travel. All in-person events, including campus commencement ceremony scheduled for May 9, are canceled for the remainder of the semester.

Students and staff can get the latest information on Butler's response to the coronavirus outbreak here.


Ball State University informed students in an e-mail Wednesday that starting Monday, March 16, all in-person classes will be suspended through the end of the spring semester.

The classes will be replaced with "virtual instruction and other alternative learning options," the university said.

Statement from Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns about COVID-19.

Posted by Ball State University on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Ball State has also suspended all international travel that is sponsored or funded by the university, as well as domestic travel for faculty, staff and students, including travel within the state of Indiana.

Monday, March 16, the university added additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

President Geoffrey Mearns announced that effective Sunday, March 29 at 5 p.m., residence halls will be closed. Students who are currently living in the residence halls are being encouaged to make prepartations now to meet the move-out deadline.

In addition, all university-sponsored or university-hosted events of 50 or more people are postponed or canceled.

May 2020 commencement at Ball State has been canceled over the coronavirus pandemic.

"I can appreciate how disappointing this decision is to our graduating students and their families. For so many of you, our Commencement is a memorable and meaningful celebration of the successful culmination of hard work and many sacrifices," BSU President Geoffrey Mearns said in a release.

The university is taking suggestions as to how to replace the May ceremony. Students can take the survey here.


Notre Dame announced Wednesday morning that starting Monday, March 23 and continuing through at least April 13, all in-person classes will be suspended and moved to online.

The university says that although there have been no reported cases of coronavirus at Notre Dame, there is a high probability that it could spread.

"I have continued to monitor the quickly evolving situation, and after a great deal of deliberation and consultation with experts, with all members of our community’s health and well-being in mind, I’ve decided that the University will take several steps to reduce the likelihood of transmission of the virus," said Father Jenkins in a statement to the community.

In addition to classes moving to online, all University-sponsored study abroad programs are being suspended "with students and U.S.-based faculty and staff being returned home safely and as soon as possible."

As spring break comes to a close, students are also being strongly encouraged to stay or return home rather than return to campus.

Notre Dame says they will communicate by April 3 whether they can resume in-person classes after April 13. The official end of the semester remains May 8 and commencement is still scheduled for the weekend of May 15-17.

Click here to read the entire statement from Notre Dame.


The University of Indianapolis, which is currently on spring break, will be extending their break through Sunday, March 22.

UIndy says it will use the extended spring break week of March 16 to March 22, 2020, to dedicate time to offer support to faculty as they move courses to an online or alternate delivery method.

Then starting March 23, all face-to-face classes will move to an online. However, campus will remain open.

"It is imperative that we minimize the possibility of transmission and limit the possibility of “community spread” through new actions on our campus," President Robert Manuel said in a statement to the community.

UIndy residence halls and apartments will also remain open and the dining hall will operate on a “to-go” basis only, according to a statement from the university.

The university says it will continue its suspension of all University-sponsored international travel through at least May 31, 2020 and strongly discourages personal international travel during this time.

There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus on UIndy's campus.

For more information, visit UIndy's website here.


Franklin College Franklin College has announced that it will extend its transition to distance learning through the remainder of the spring semester, including the week of final exams.

Students had already been advised to vacate the residence halls back on March 15.

“It is obvious now that the timeline for resolution of the pandemic remains too uncertain for us to leave our students and our faculty up in the air about the academic format for the remainder of the spring semester,” said Franklin College President Kerry Prather. “Therefore, we are announcing today that we will continue delivering the academic program via distance learning through the end of the semester and final exams.”

To view the president’s video message, please click on the following link:


Indiana State University offices will remain open but classes will be taught online through the rest of the spring semester.

"All of us at Indiana State University share in the disappointment of graduates, family, and friends that we will not be able to hold the Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies," the university states on its webite.

As of March 16, the president announced that the spring commencement ceremony will be held virtually.

"Through this virtual graduation, you will be able to view video from the student speakers, see the names of the graduates, and hear the President officially declare all of you graduates of Indiana State University," ISU says.

For more information, visit ISU's website here.


University of Southern Indiana announced that online class instruction, scheduled to begin Monday, March 23, will now extend through the end of the spring semester.

USI will also close on-campus housing effective immediately in order to facilitate social distancing. All move-outs should be completed no later than Sunday, March 22.

All university events, including those hosted by registered student organizations or outside groups, are canceled for the remainder of the spring semester.

The university is postponing commencement until further notice.

To read the full announcement, click here.


The University of Evansville is extending its spring break, then holding online classes through March 27.

The university announced Wednesday they are suspending in-person classes when students return from the extended break, which will now run through Tuesday, March 17.

Students who are not currently on campus are being ordered not to return to campus until further instructions are given.


DePauw is suspending In-person classes after the end of the day on Friday March 13th. All class meetings will be suspended during the week of March 16th through March 20th. This will provide faculty and staff with time to prepare for a transition to e-learning alternatives and students to make plans for the remainder of the spring term. A decision regarding May term is forthcoming.