The University of New Mexico has postponed all spring convocations indefinitely, including its graduation ceremony previously schedule for May 16.

Monday's announcement is the latest in a series of closures and cancellations — including in-person classes and on-campus housing — to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

As of March 24, there were 100 positive cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico, including 43 recorded in the state's most densely populated county, Bernalillo.



UNM President Garnett Stokes said she regretted the measure, but insisted it had to be done.

"I know that some of these decisions, particularly those related to campus housing, commencement ceremonies and the transition to remote instruction, may cause anxiety, frustration and disappointment," Stokes said, adding a promise to continue sending out updates over email.

The postponement affects all program-specific convocations.

The spring graduation ceremony typically packs The Pit, which holds around 15,000 people.

Last spring, UNM estimated 3,800 people participated in the ceremony, including the 2,260 undergraduates who received their degrees.

The announcement also coincided with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's decision to close non-essential businesses until April 10, the most aggressive measure in New Mexico yet to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

"The only way for us to stop the spread of this virus is for New Mexicans to stop interacting with each other," Lujan Grisham said during Monday's press conference.

Hospitals, grocery stores, gas stations, laundromats, banks and carry-out or delivery service at restaurants were some of the businesses deemed essential.

Justin Garcia is the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at editorinchief@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @Just516garc