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Virtually honoring Spring 2020 graduates

Given the challenges our world is facing due to COVID-19, MSU is actively working to properly honor and congratulate the class of 2020. 

MSU will hold a virtual commencement celebration on May 16 for all undergraduate and graduate students earning degrees at the end of the 2020 spring semester. The virtual event does not replace an in-person ceremony and members of the class of 2020 will be invited to participate in a future in-person commencement. A recording of the virtual ceremony will be available on the MSU commencement webpage following the Facebook event.

Virtual events and ceremonies also are being planned by many individual colleges. Please see the following list for current plans MSU colleges have to honor their graduating seniors.

Agriculture and Natural Resources: CANR virtual commencement celebration 2 p.m., Saturday, May 16 (part livestream, partly recorded, more info as it becomes available will be posted to the website.

Arts and Letters: Arts and Letters has created a website,, that features graduate highlights, pre-recorded videos of commencement speeches, faculty/department/alumni messages, and social media content from students.

Communication Arts and Sciences: The College of Communication Arts and Sciences will hold a live, virtual celebration to recognize graduates on May 8 at 7 p.m. The event will be hosted by Dean Prabu David at the ComArtSci webpage. Students and alumni are encouraged to send in their messages to air as special segments within the show by April 30.

Education: The College of Education is planning to create videos to celebrate their graduates' achievements and congratulate the Class of 2020. These will debut on the weekend of May 1.

Eli Broad College of Business: The Broad College has put together a celebration of graduates that will take place on @MSUBroadCollege social media channels the first two weeks of May. For undergraduate students, there is no virtual ceremony planned; an in-person ceremony will be announced at a later date. They will also be receiving a "Broad Business Bundle" in the mail in May. Graduate students will have details of their celebrations shared with them individually by their respective programs.

Engineering: The College of Engineering will honor and celebrate our graduates with a video recording, to be released in mid-May. Included will be messages from the dean and department chairs, as well as planned speeches from the undergraduate speaker and alumni representative. The celebration will also move online, with graduates and congratulations wishes for Spartan Engineers featured electronically on their website and social media sites.

Human Medicine: College of Human Medicine is actively planning a virtual ceremony for medical students at 1 p.m. on May 9. Students, faculty and staff will join Zoom for the virtual graduation, while family and friends will be invited to watch a live stream via YouTube.

James Madison College: James Madison is actively planning a virtual ceremony and will host a Facebook watch party of the pre-recorded ceremony at 2 p.m. on May 2.

Law: The College of Law will be doing a 3L homepage takeover with content that celebrates graduates’ accomplishments including profiles, news items and competition victories. They also plan to take a yearbook-inspired approach and compile handwritten faculty quotes and notes of well-wishes. A simple Zoom recording will be made of faculty offering congratulations.

Lyman Briggs College: To honor the class of 2020, Lyman Briggs College is producing a short film and creating an online microsite yearbook, featuring content from faculty, leadership, and students that will launch in mid-May.

Music: A virtual commencement for all degrees will be held at 10 a.m., May 9, via a live watch party on Facebook and YouTube. The ceremony includes virtual musical performances. A recording will be made and pinned to the top of both channels. 

Natural Science: NatSci is actively running a Class of 2020 senior celebration campaign via its social media channels and will hold a NatSci website homepage takeover on May 2 that features a senior photo collage, graduate highlights and quotes, and pre-recorded videos of congratulatory speeches from the dean and undergraduate student speaker. Many NatSci departments have their own plans to recognize graduates as well.

Nursing: The College of Nursing had a virtual senior send-off ceremony on April 21. Undergraduates were given a "virtual pin" to represent what is normally given in person. The recorded ceremony can be viewed on their YouTube channel.

Osteopathic Medicine: The College of Osteopathic Medicine will host a virtual commencement ceremony at 6:45 p.m. on April 30. It will be pre-recorded on Zoom. The ceremony will include words of encouragement and congratulations from faculty and staff, remarks from the dean and president of the class of 2020. A virtual processional will be held with slides of the names of each student's achievements and will be announced by WKAR's Jody Knol. The osteopathic pledge will be given towards the end of the ceremony.

Residential College in the Arts and Humanities: RCAH will debut a graduation celebration video at 7 p.m. on May 2 on their YouTube channel.

Social Science: No virtual ceremony plans, but rather gathering content to acknowledge graduates through a video and special space on their website to celebrate graduates with a message from the dean. 

Veterinary Medicine: The College of Veterinary Medicine will hold a virtual commencement at 12:15 p.m. on May 1 honoring Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, graduate students, and veterinary nursing students. An informal "congratulations" video was pre-recorded on Zoom and highlights faculty and staff messages to students. Another video is being made for a "senior celebration" event. Both will be hosted on the college's YouTube channel. 

By: Jocelyn Tucker

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