DAVIS (CBS13) – Gary May, the chancellor of UC Davis, is apologizing and offering refunds after heat-related issues cut commencements short over the weekend.
The university says 36 people called for medical help and 6 went to the hospital as temperatures skyrocketed on Friday.READ MORE: Getting Answers: What Do Increased Releases From Folsom Dam Mean For Region's Water Levels?
Even after starting earlier to try and avoid the heat, Saturday’s ceremony only lasted an hour before it too was also stopped.
Chancellor May apologized in an expanded statement on Monday, writing that “Commencement did not go as planned, and while we did our best to mitigate against the rising temperatures on Friday morning, I know it was not enough. I apologize for the pain, anger and frustration many of you have experienced and expressed.”
The chancellor also gave a detailed explanation about how and why the decisions were made on Friday.READ MORE: 'This Isn't Going To Hold Us Back': Drag Event In Woodland Stopped Over Alleged Threats Of Violence
Notably, it was the first time the UC Davis Health Stadium was used as a commencement venue. Previously, commencements were held indoors at the ARC Pavilion. But, the new stadium can hold considerably more people.
However, even with officials watching the weather forecast and planning to have more cooling stations around the stadium, May said temperatures started to climb on Friday earlier than expected.
With the situation deteriorating, officials say they reached a point where it was unsafe to continue.MORE NEWS: California Lawmakers Demand Accountability After Personal Info Of Concealed Weapons Holders Leaked
UC Davis is now offering a $58 refund – covering caps, gowns and tassels – to graduates who didn’t walk, and officials say they’re working on gathering feedback about a possible makeup commencement.