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President David Johns said precautions that will be rolled out include smaller class sizes and more open classroom space.

Ferrum College will hold its May graduation ceremony online, college President David Johns announced Tuesday.

Classes also will be taught online for the remainder of the spring semester, Johns wrote, explaining the college’s latest adjustments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The small private college in Franklin County follows in the footsteps of Virginia Tech, which announced Thursday that it would hold a virtual graduation ceremony, prompting protests online from people advocating for a postponement instead.

Johns left open the possibility that Ferrum would hold a second in-person commencement ceremony for the class of 2020 in the fall, “depending on circumstances.”

Ferrum continues to allow students to stay on campus if they choose to do so. A regularly updated compilation of the college’s policies and decisions related to the pandemic can be found at ferrum.edu/coronavirus.

Mike Allen covers government happenings in Franklin County and Botetourt County for The Roanoke Times and also writes the weekly Arts & Extras column.

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