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An Inside Look: Spring Commencement

Written by on March 31, 2020

Photo courtesy to Illinois State University

NORMAL, Ill.- Despite the impact of COVID-19 on Spring 2020 Commencement ceremonies, Illinois State University wants to provide Spring and Summer 2020 graduates with as many elements of the typical commencement experience as possible.

“Commencement ceremonies represent a chance to recognize the time and hard work each graduate has invested in their education,” said Associate Dean of Students Jill Benson. “They also represent a chance to gather with loved ones to observe this important milestone that others have supported.”

“For many graduates, the opportunity to walk across the commencement stage and hear their name called is the epitome of the commencement experience,” said Benson.

Spring and Summer 2020 graduates are being offered the opportunity to return to campus in December 2020 to join expanded winter commencement ceremonies.

“The number of ceremonies is being expanded to accommodate additional participants and create the more individualized college ceremony experience that is typical of Spring Commencement,” said Benson

Winter commencement is typically only two ceremonies, with three colleges combined in each.

These ceremonies will also be live streamed to make them available to any family and friends who cannot attend in person.

There are some key elements of a commencement ceremony that can be provided to graduates online.

In early May, an online ceremony for each academic college will be posted at GraduationServices.IllinoisState.edu for public viewing.

Each online ceremony will include the speeches that are typically given at a commencement ceremony, which are from President Larry Dietz, the college Dean, and a student or guest speaker selected by the college.

There will also be the conferral of degrees and symbolic tassel move.

In addition, graduates are being invited to submit a photo of themselves to be available in an online gallery of graduates. The photo submission form is available at GraduationServices.IllinoisState.edu through April 10, 2020. Some graduates may choose to wear their commencement regalia for these photos.

Graduates receive several items when they participate in commencement ceremonies, including their diploma cover.

“In order to retain this part of the experience, a packet including a diploma cover and a keepsake commencement program book, listing all spring and summer 2020 graduates, is being shipped to all spring and summer 2020 graduates later this semester,” said Benson.

Also, any student who has earned a Latin honors designation will receive their honor cord from the Office of the University Registrar.