LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. -- New alumni from the University of Lethbridge will need to celebrate their new degrees in a different way thanks to a recent decision from the school this week.

The university has announced its decision in a release Monday, saying it did so to prioritize the health and well-being of its students.

The ceremony typically gathers 1,400 students and 2,000 guests, which would far exceed the 50 person limit imposed on gathering by provincial health authorities.

The university insists it is working to develop an alternate plan to celebrate the achievements of its graduates.

“This decision was not made lightly,” said Kathleen Massey, the university’s associate vice-president (students). “Watching our students develop throughout their time at the University of Lethbridge and then seeing them cross the stage in cap and gown is an important moment of celebration for them and for us.”

In-person convocation traditionally includes four large ceremonies over the course of two days, along with an Indigenous celebration. The event was scheduled to start on May 28.

“Our students have worked so hard over the course of their time here at the (University of Lethbridge) and convocation is that opportunity to celebrate and reflect on all that has been accomplished,” said Massey.

“Beyond that, it’s a significant family occasion. Our students know they could not have achieved this life milestone without the love and support of so many people and convocation is a time to say thank you as they share in their achievements.”

The university will share details of its plan with students as soon as more information becomes available.