SMU President R. Gerald Turner has announced that SMU’s University-wide Commencement Convocation has been postponed until August.

“Given the current global uncertainty and restrictions on large gatherings in Dallas County … we’ve made the very difficult decision to postpone SMU’s commencement weekend until Saturday, August 15,” Turner said in a video statement. “We didn’t want to delay it, but we needed to.”

Turner noted that May degrees will be officially conferred on May 16, with transcripts available on May 29 and diplomas mailed out on June 19; only the ceremony has been postponed.

Plans are currently in development for separate events to honor graduating students of Perkins School of Theology. A total of 62 Perkins students are expected to graduate in this academic year, including seven December graduates, 44 May graduates and 11 in the summer.

Perkins’ Celebration of Degrees and Academic Achievements is tentatively scheduled for Friday, August 14, with the Rev. George Mason of Wilshire Baptist Church preaching, with the venue and time to be determined. Graduating students are being polled regarding their preferences and availability for possible options for the rescheduled event.

This year’s Sending Forth Service took place during regular weekly worship conducted via Zoom on April 29, with Dr. Abraham Smith preaching.  Graduating Perkins seniors were recognized and received a blessing. More than 120 people attended the online gathering.

A virtual end of the year gathering for the Perkins community is tentatively planned for May 14, with details still being finalized. Awards will be announced at that event. In addition, a Senior Class Worship Service is planned for Friday, May 15, at 5 p.m. via Zoom meeting.