Dear students:

I would like to extend my gratitude to all of you for your continued cooperation and understanding during this time of uncertainty in our nation. As TTUHSC El Paso leadership continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak, we must make difficult decisions to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone.

Today I am announcing the cancellation of Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies for all TTUHSC El Paso schools – the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.  

This is deeply disappointing for all of us, especially for you, our graduates; however, my top priority remains focused on your health and that of your families and loved ones. Our university will follow Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order, based on the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines, to avoid large social gatherings until we can safely do so again.

We will award degrees to all students who complete the necessary coursework and requirements for Spring 2020 graduation, and diplomas will be mailed to all graduates.

Moving forward, please know our TTUHSC El Paso leadership is committed to honoring graduates, and we are developing plans for virtual commencement ceremonies to be streamed online. I recognize that this experience cannot replace a face-to-face ceremony; however, we will work together with other departments at TTUHSC El Paso to include as many components as possible of our traditional graduation celebration.

In the coming weeks, I will send additional details about virtual ceremonies to all projected graduates from the class of 2020.

We are all saddened by this unexpected turn of events. After years of hard work, each and every one of you deserve a moment that honors your achievements during your time at TTUHSC El Paso – I hope that a virtual ceremony will provide that opportunity for you and your loved ones.

As we experience this global pandemic, let this moment serve as a reminder of why you are on this journey: to help heal communities, every day and in times of great need. I am proud of all of you and grateful for your dedication to our university and the El Paso community.


Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso