Graduation ceremonies filled with traditional garb and music, uplifting speeches and time-honored rituals are the norm this time of year, giving graduates and their loved ones a chance to savor the unmatched accomplishment of earning a higher education degree.
With COVID-19 restrictions postponing the usual KFC Yum! Center commencement ceremonies, the University of Louisville will provide a virtual graduation celebration at uofl.edu/hereandbeyond2020.
The website will go live at 10 a.m. May 9, the exact time commencement would have started at the downtown arena. Although an in-person commencement ceremony for spring 2020 graduates will be held in December, this Saturday is the day graduates officially earn their degrees.
More than 3,200 degrees and certificates will be conferred across UofL’s 12 schools and colleges. More than half are bachelor’s degrees, while hundreds of master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as professional and post-graduate certificates, will also be awarded.
“We cannot be with our graduates physically, we can’t throw up our Ls and pose for selfies with them, but we are a Cardinal family and they are in our hearts,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “We know that our virtual celebration won’t take the place of walking across the stage while loved ones look on, and we are still committed to a formal ceremony later this year, when we are again able to safely gather in larger numbers. What we hope is our newly minted grads will know we share in the joy of their accomplishment. You have done the work, we are so proud of you and this is but one way for us to come together virtually to celebrate this important achievement.”
Visitors to the Spring 2020 graduation celebration website can enjoy special video performances by School of Music faculty and the Cardinal Marching Band and a video message from Bendapudi, which will include a surprise for the graduates. Additional well wishes from university officials and state and local leaders, including a special announcement by Mayor Greg Fischer, will also be included.
The site also will feature user-generated content gathered from social media posts that use the hashtag #UofLGrads2020, so graduates can share their memories and photos, and loved ones can offer personal words of support and congratulations. Additional content on the site will include: an augmented reality feature, UofL graduate stories, words of advice from alumni, and other fun, interactive components.