UCCS grads celebrate commencement

Akiko Walker, a graduate in economics, adjusts her cap in preparation for the UCCS Fall Commencement ceremony at the Broadmoor World Arena Dec. 20. A record 1,068 UCCS students earned degrees for studies completed in the summer and fall. A total of 564 graduates took part in the graduation.

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will join other campuses in the CU system and hold a virtual commencement ceremony for spring graduates, Chancellor Venkat Reddy announced Monday.

Those receiving degrees also will be invited to participate in the fall 2020 or spring 2021 in-person ceremonies, he said.

The livestreamed ceremony will start at 1 p.m.  May 15. That's the same day the in-person ceremony was to have taken place.

UCCS officials conferred 1,496 degrees and 1,100 graduates participated in last spring's ceremonies. Some 1,500 graduates are expected again this year.

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The online ceremony will have student keynote speakers and messages from college deans and other hierarchy, said UCCS spokesman Jared Verner. Graduates are being asked to submit photos of themselves for college-specific portions of the ceremony, he said. 

The news comes after the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus announced last week it would livestream graduation, due to uncertainty about the coronavirus.

In an update to UCCS students and staff sent Monday, Reddy said the decision was made “with heavy hearts.”

“But in evaluating what is best for the health of students, families and our communities, not only for our campus but all campuses in the University of Colorado System, it is the right decision,” he said.

Discussions with Student Government Association leaders, other graduating seniors and campus leadership led to the decision, Reddy said.

Students will receive their diploma covers, honor cords and other materials by mail.

The UCCS Bookstore will provide other items, such as gown, mortarboard, tassel and mementos, for purchase online at uccsbookstore.com.

“Unique times require unique solutions, and we are committed to recreating an environment where all of our graduates can feel seen and honored for their tremendous accomplishments,” Reddy said.

Ceremony and graduation details are available at commencement.uccs.edu. The site will be updated as information is finalized.

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.

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