Grad fair continues after in-person graduation ceremonies are canceled

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Graduates from BYU’s April 2019 commencement ceremony. (Ty Mullen)

The BYU Store is still hosting a grad fair today despite Wednesday’s announcement that there will no longer be any in-person graduation convocations or commencements at BYU or other Church Education System schools. Devotionals and forums were also discouraged in the CES statement.

This comes after CES said it examined the COVID-19 outbreaks. “CES is deeply interested in the health, education and spiritual growth of each of these students and those who serve them,” the statement read.

Howard Byrd is a salesman for Herff Jones, the company that is still taking orders from prospective graduates for caps, gowns, tassels, stoles, graduation announcements and more. He admitted that after hearing the announcement, he was surprised that Thursday’s grad fair was not cancelled.

Byrd says students are welcome to cancel any orders made yesterday. “They can call the 1-800 number and get a refund,” he said. The same does not apply for graduation announcements, however, as those are already being processed.

Herff Jones has been in business for 100 years, and according to Byrd, canceling a university commencement is unprecedented.

“We’re partners with BYU,” he said. Should BYU decide to postpone graduation ceremonies, he anticipates that Herff Jones will also accommodate this since the company has been partners with BYU since before the university opted to host one annual commencement ceremony.

“We know how to do an August ceremony,” Byrd said.

The grad fair continued to help students process orders until 6 p.m. Thursday. Byrd said he is reminding students that attend that there will not be an April convocation or commencement according to CES.

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