COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — The University of Maryland may not have an in-person spring commencement for the class of 2020, but they announced Monday a plan to make sure the graduates still feel celebrated.
The three-part plan includes a virtual commencement on May 22, complimentary tickets to a Maryland Football game on September 12 and the opportunity to be a part of the university’s winter commencement ceremony on December 20.
The virtual commencement ceremony will be streamed across multiple platforms at 1 p.m. and will include remarks from Citrupa Gopal, ’20, a biology major and Senate Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, ’63.
“During these challenging and uncertain times, it is a great honor to address the Spring 2020 graduates of the University of Maryland, College Park,” Hoyer said. “I know this year’s celebrations will look a bit different, but I look forward to joining together with the UMD family to recognize the achievements of our graduates and wish them well as they enter the next phase of their lives.”
The university will also confer honorary doctorates to Hiram Whittle ‘52, the first African-American male undergraduate student admitted to UMD in 1951, and Elaine Johnson Coates ‘59, the first African-American female student admitted in 1955. Individual colleges and schools will also host their own virtual commencement ceremonies on May 22, featuring remarks from Deans and displaying the names of every graduate.
The university went to all online classes after their spring break in March and all spring 2020 undergraduate and graduate courses were graded as satisfactory/fail unless the students elected otherwise.
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“While this semester has not turned out how any of us expected, we are still making plans to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the spring class of 2020,” Loh said. “We all look forward to commemorating this upcoming graduating class. And I look forward to standing with them, another proud “graduate” of the spring class of 2020 of the University of Maryland.”
The university will continue to closely monitor guidance from state and local leaders, the USM chancellor, and public health officials and will announce additional details when they are available, keeping the health and safety of the university community as the top priority.