Fall 2020 commencement to be virtual

Fiona O’Dowd

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 It is landmark in opportunity: the cap, gown, the diploma, the ceremony, the cheers and ‘congrats’ from friends, family and strangers alike. Graduation, particularly graduation from college, is a pivotal achievement for many. Whether it is an amen to the end of your college education or the beginning of a life of learning beyond, a commencement ceremony is a day that many have dreamed of since their very first day of college.  

     For the Spring 2020 commencement, the ideal ceremony with the symbolic cap and gown, and the meeting of family and friends in-person could not happen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, that will also be the case this fall semester — once again, this upcoming commencement ceremony will be held virtually, and seniors are not the only ones disappointed.  

     In an email announcement, Chancellor Venkat Reddy said, “It is with great regret that we are announcing the cancellation of our in-person Commencement ceremony on December 18, 2020 due to COVID-19.” 

     Commencement is a ceremony that so many look forward to, including friends and family, and the staff and faculty that helped students achieve success. It is no wonder that a virtual ceremony has disappointed so many. 

     Along with the chancellor, Provost Tom Christensen commented on this decision via email, saying, “While we would all prefer to be able to celebrate in person, it seems likely that the current restrictions on large gatherings and social distancing will still be in place in December.”  

     For those who would rather wait until they can walk at their ceremony, Reddy has invited this semester’s graduates to walk during the Spring 2021 ceremony.  

     But things are still hopeful for a ceremonious event in December, as UCCS’ leaders are doing what they can to make the virtual commencement worthwhile. “I know that the Chancellor’s office is working very hard to create a significant and meaningful virtual commencement event,” Christensen said.  

     Those who will be graduating have been urged to look out for email updates in the weeks leading up to the event. For those who choose to purchase caps and gowns or would like to order invitations or class rings, a virtual Graduation Fair will take place the week of November 9.  

     Commencement will take place virtually on December 18 at 1 p.m., and graduates will receive diplomas and other items in the mail.  

     As anyone who has worked so hard toward their education in these last few years, a virtual commencement ceremony may not be the desired outcome, but let’s not forget the time and effort that has been put forth thus far. You are almost there, Mountain Lions, and we applaud you. 

Photo courtesy of Communique.