While soon-to-be University of Colorado Boulder graduates will still have the chance to be a part of spring commencement, it will now have to be from their laptop screens.
CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano announced Thursday that May’s 2020 graduation ceremony at Folsom Field, previously canceled to avoid the spread of COVID-19, will now move to an online livestream on Saturday, May 16.
“Commencement at Folsom Field is one of our most beloved traditions, and we are heartbroken not to be able to celebrate it in person with you this May,” DiStefano said in an email to students, faculty and staff. “To keep our community safe while preserving our great traditions, we will hold commencement this May via livestream.”
This year’s graduating class will also be invited to partake in “special events” in May 2021 in celebration of their accomplishments at the university. This comes after the creation of an online petition to postpone the in-person ceremony. The petition is still active and has over 16,000 signatures.
Along with health and safety concerns regarding COVID-19, campus leaders said they are unsure of the length of time state restrictions will remain in place, with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis Wednesday ordering a state-wide stay-at-home order in effect until at least April 11.
Still, university leaders are hoping to keep the virtual ceremony as close to tradition as possible. It will include a live conferral of degrees, a recording of the Norlin Charge, CU Boulder’s alma mater and national anthem, slides of the class of 2020, live comments from DiStefano and Senior Class Council President Chad Brokaw as well as congratulatory messages from CU President Kennedy and the University of Colorado Board of Regents.
It will even still feature its keynote speaker Dan Carlin, decorated historian and host of the popular podcast Hardcore History.
“While it will certainly be something they ‘will never forget,’ it is not the indelible memory that anyone had in mind,” Carlin told the CU Independent.
Students must apply to graduate by April 1 to see their names in the commencement program. April 30 is the final deadline to apply to graduate. Graduates will now be receiving their diplomas and other traditional commencement material by mail. Further information regarding college, school and department events are yet to be released.
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Noelle Videon at email@example.com.