Miami U. spring graduation to go virtual, school hopes for in-person commencement in September

For thousands of Miami University graduates and their families, spring commencement will be held virtually in an online ceremony, the school’s president announced Monday.

Miami, like universities around the nation, cancelled in-person classes, closed down the campus and its residence halls and postponed the traditional commencement for May earlier this month.

On Monday, Miami President Gregory Crawford sent an email out to the school’s nearly 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students announcing new plans to honor spring graduates on May 16 with some tentative plans to hold an in-person gathering on Sept. 11.

“We now envision two components to the commencement ceremonies for the class of 2020. On May 16, the actual commencement date, we are preparing a virtual recognition of our graduates, to mark the official conferment of degrees,” wrote Crawford in his statement.

“In the fall, we are planning a weekend dedicated to celebrating and recognizing our graduates and their achievements.

“The weekend of September 11, 12, and 13 is now currently planned to include all divisional recognition ceremonies, where the graduates will gather with their friends, families and loved ones, to have their names called and to cross the stage,. It will be a unique and special occasion at the Miami football game, with all in-game activities focused upon our graduates, and it will also include, at game’s end, the Class of 2020, gathering on the field in their academic regalia to form the beveled ‘M.’

“We were all extremely disappointed with the need to cancel the commencement ceremony planned for May. Commencement is a cherished occasion for our graduates to celebrate with family, friends, faculty and staff, to have their name called, walk across the stage and receive their diploma.

“For our students, we recognize that these unprecedented times have impacted your studies. Early this week, (Miami officials) will provide additional information about how you will be provided with enhanced flexibility for course grade options for this spring semester, including credit/no credit.”

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