UW Moving Winter Commencement Online Due To COVID Concerns

in News/University of Wyoming

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The University of Wyoming will forego a traditional winter commencement ceremony next month, instead opting to move the event online in the wake of surging coronavirus cases all across Wyoming, particularly in Albany County.

The university will host a virtual ceremony at 10 a.m. on Dec. 12. The ceremony will last around 45 minutes and will include all colleges and degree levels.

“As was the case during the spring, we regretfully are not able to host an in-person commencement ceremony for our winter 2020 graduates,” Vice President for Student Affairs Kim Chestnut said. “However, we are planning a very memorable virtual ceremony similar to the one we conducted in May, and we hope our new graduates, their families and friends will join us in celebrating their wonderful accomplishments.”

According to Wyoming’s coronavirus dashboard, Albany County currently has 696 lab-confirmed active cases of the virus.

While details of the virtual ceremony are in planning, students have the option to do something different for their winter commencement.

First, they have the ability to return for a future spring or winter commencement ceremony. This is a practice that has been in place for many years at UW.

Additionally, UW is repurposing its winter commencement budget to purchase and deliver keepsakes for graduates, their families and friends. These commencement packages each will include a mortar board, tassel and stole so that graduates can have a “tassel-turning” moment during the virtual ceremony and take photographs.

Students graduating with honors will receive appropriate cords, and graduate students will receive hoods and tams. UW won’t provide graduation robes, but they can be purchased if students want them.

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