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Students gathered while wearing face masks on the first day of the fall 2020 semester.

Lewisburg, Pa. – Bucknell University announced it will delay the start of spring semester by two weeks, making the new starting date February 1.

The decision was made in order to accommodate pre-return COVID-19 testing, a carefully-planned spring move-in process, and to give faculty time to prepare for both online and in-person classes.

Because of this, and to discourage travel that may bring COVID to the area, there will be no spring break.

Commencement is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, May 23, but the date is subject to change pending the health and safety limitations presented by pandemic conditions in early 2021.

“As the pandemic continues, we have finalized necessary adjustments to the spring semester calendar, with a goal of safely continuing in-person education with our current model of hybrid instruction,” wrote Bucknell Provost Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak in an email to students. "While I know this [elimination of spring break] is not ideal for students, faculty or staff, we must mitigate the risk of a campus outbreak by continuing to reduce travel."

Classes will end on Friday, May 7, while final exams will be completed on May 17.

“Our goal is to hold final exams in-person this spring, so unlike this semester, students in residence will remain on campus during finals,” Mermann-Jozwiak wrote.

Spring classes will be delivered in a hybrid format and students will again have the option of learning in-person or remotely. Students who choose to learn remotely will not be able to return to campus to visit during the spring semester as the University will continue to limit visitors to campus.

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.