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Howard University Cancels Chaotic Graduation Mid-Ceremony

Students felt poor planning was to blame for the chaos during the event.


Howard University cancelled the graduation for one of its colleges in the middle of the ceremony due to the chaos outside the venue. The university later let the students walk following its school-wide commencement.

The Dean at the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences informed graduates of the news at its May 9 event, as reported by the New York Post. The sudden cancellation came from the chaotic breakdown of letting loved ones in the auditorium where the graduation took place.

“Because of the size of the room and because our relatives sometimes do not know how to act, the fire department is now here to shut us down,” explained Dean Dr. Gina S. Brown.

Despite her words, the DC Fire Department denied doing so.

The graduation’s first come, first served entry left many families outside the venue while their loved one received their degrees. Limited seating filled up quicker than expected, as the class of 2024 in general is the largest in Howard’s history.

Angered at not being let in, many of the shut-outs began yelling outside the graduation venue. Video footage showed many yelling “Let Us In!” as they saw the graduates enter the facility.

“While they were doing the keynote speaker, there was, like, loud banging, even before that, for like 10 minutes straight,” shared graduating student Bria Flowers to NBC Washington.  “Just like boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.” Footage showed a man breaking the entrance door, shocking his fellow protestors. Howard released a statement on the cancelled event following the news gaining traction.

“This incident led to a disturbance among guests outside of the facility, resulting in a disruption of the program,” explained the HBCU. “Guests in attendance were immediately dispersed following this incident.”

However, despite the less-than-illustrious start to Howard’s 156th commencement weekend, the graduates received their moments on stage. Howard’s president especially recognized the cohort in his welcome speech during the main ceremony. Following the event, many of those graduates finally walked in front of loved ones.

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