The University of California, Davis graduation ceremony was abruptly cut short Friday morning after extreme heat left six people hospitalized.
At 10:56 a.m. Pacific time, UC Davis posted a message on Twitter that those who had already crossed the stage were encouraged to leave with their families due to “extremely hot” temperatures.
Shortly thereafter, an announcement was made in the stadium telling all graduates to clear the field, and announcing that the ceremony would be halting.
“We believe we have reached dangerous conditions,” the announcement, which can be heard in the graduation’s livestream, said. “We would like to honor our graduates that have not made it to the field, but in the interest of public safety we ask you to leave the field.”
The temperature Friday morning in Davis was in the mid-90s, with an excessive heat warning in effect. According to UC Davis spokeswoman Julia Ann Easley, the campus received 35 calls for heat-related medical aid and six of those people were transported to local hospitals.
The announcement was made about three hours into the ceremony, and just over one hour after graduates began to cross the stage.
UC Davis holds three graduation ceremonies for undergraduates, divided based on their majors. Friday’s marked the first of these ceremonies, as well as the first in-person graduation ceremony since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a news release Friday afternoon, the university invited students who did not get a chance to walk to attend a separate ceremony Sunday with their families.
“We deeply regret that some students did not get a chance to walk across the stage,” the statement said. “We appreciate your understanding and know this has been frustrating.”