Students are staying safe through virtual commencement Tuesday, Nov 3 2020 

By Catherine Brown-

This semester, the University of Louisville is moving its December commencement ceremony online. It’s devastating to lose that chance to walk across the stage to your family and friends cheering you on, but it’s necessary during this global pandemic.

If the university decided to hold in-person commencement, it could be problematic. Holding an in-person commencement ceremony would risk the health of everyone in attendance. Many students, staff, faculty members, and friends/family that would attend a normal, in-person commencement are in “high-risk” groups. 

Not only that, but COVID-19 is more contagious than the flu, the CDC reports. You could be placed next to a student who is asymptomatic but coughs once and ends up spreading the virus.

Therefore, holding a commencement in the KFC Yum! Center could only spell a disaster.

And it would be hard to enforce any mandatory mask policy in a stadium that can hold over 20,000 people. It would require more manpower than before and might end up costing the university more to attend to. It would be more trouble than it’s worth to try to implement safety measures when it can be just as effective to let students stay in quarantine at home.

Alexis Logan is a senior who will be graduating in December. She said that while the move is a smart choice, she won’t be participating.

“I do agree with virtual commencement because of Corona, it would be hard to have all of us in one space safely, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be participating because it isn’t the same,” Logan said. “I never saw any of this coming—I expected a normal last semester. I think the whole experience would be different. The best part about graduation/commencement is walking across the stage with all the other graduates and in front of family and friends. It’s supposed to be a celebration of hard work for us and it’s not gonna be the same coming from our laptop screens.” 

Back in the spring, many colleges around the U.S decided to hold virtual graduation ceremonies. Doing this prevented students from gathering in close spaces where they couldn’t socially distance themselves from others or where students that can’t wear masks don’t have to worry about their safety.

U of L reassured students that once commencement is able to be held in person, graduates are welcome to attend the ceremony.

Virtual commencement will be held on  Dec. 12 at 4:00 p.m.

Although commencement is virtual, graduates can still purchase a cap and gown, as well as honor cords. Students can also book an appointment for a free graduation portrait provided by the university.

It will understandably be hard for seniors who were anticipating a normal graduation. For now, though, graduates can look forward to receiving their diploma from the comfort of their own homes. While we can only hope that this doesn’t become a normal occurrence, we can still appreciate the measures taken to protect the health and wellbeing of our U of L community.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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University cancels in-person December commencement, opts for virtual ceremony Tuesday, Oct 27 2020 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville has announced that 2020’s December commencement will take place virtually on Dec. 12 at 4:00 p.m.

“Each unit will have a virtual ceremony with traditional university-wide elements,” the university said in a letter to the class of 2020.

Despite the university observing a strong desire among student surveys for an in-person ceremony, U of L said, “The elements of the traditional ceremony that students identified as most important cannot be safely accomplished in the current environment.”

The university disclosed that the decision was made after considering the current COVID-19 situation and after seeking guidance from public health and infectious disease professionals, the university’s COVID Coordinating Committee, and other university leadership.

Finalized details are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

The December commencement was to host those who will be graduating after the fall semester and those who graduated in May 2020 but still wanted to partake in an in-person ceremony, as all spring commencements were canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While students needed to have ordered their cap and gowns by Oct. 12 to guarantee a delivery by Nov. 18, they can still be ordered through Dec. 31. These items will be shipped to the address students list on their order. Those can be ordered here.

U of L will also be offering photo sessions on campus before Thanksgiving for graduating students. Further details about this will also be provided in the coming weeks.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L plans a virtual graduation for the class of 2020 Monday, May 4 2020 

By Eli Hughes–

The University of Louisville will host a virtual graduation on May 9 as a way to recognize the achievements of graduates while still maintaining social distancing guidelines.

This virtual ceremony will not replace the in-person spring commencement, which is expected to take place along with winter commencement later this year.

“As you know, the coronavirus pandemic necessitated the postponement of our spring 2020 commencement ceremony,” U of L President Neeli Bendapudi said in an email sent to the U of L community on May 3. “Although we do plan to hold a formal ceremony in December for our spring graduates, we want to ensure that we also recognize them now.”

The online commencement ceremony will take place on a website U of L has set up for this event. Beginning at 10 a.m. on May 9, the site will become active with messages from the U of L community, alumni, and state and local leaders.

Those interested can participate by celebrating the graduates through social media. The hashtag #UofLGrads2020 should be used to share the graduates’ accomplishments, personal stories, pictures and words of encouragement.

Graduates are also encouraged to use the hashtag to reflect on their time at U of L and share how they are celebrating. Bendapudi hinted in the email that the posts shared using the hashtag would be involved in the event on the website.

According to the email, the website will also feature spotlights of graduates, interactive features and numerous surprises.

“Although we’ll be celebrating their accomplishments in a way that is far different than anyone could have anticipated, I am certain that what the Class of 2020 has endured during this unprecedented time will further fuel their potential to build a better world, here and beyond,” Bendapudi said.

Graphic by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

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