The University of Toledo is recognizing the Class of 2020 with a virtual commencement ceremony while we cannot celebrate together amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The Celebrating Success online ceremony will go live on Saturday, May 9, the same date graduates and their families had planned to celebrate commencement in the Glass Bowl before drastic social distancing measures were required to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The spring commencement ceremony recognizes UToledo’s undergraduate and graduate candidates for degrees. The College of Medicine and Life Sciences and College of Law hold separate graduation ceremonies and also are planning to hold virtual events due to the state’s stay-at-home order.
On the website, utoledo.edu/commencement, graduates and their families can watch videos from President Sharon L. Gaber and other University leaders congratulating them on their successes.
Most importantly, each graduate has the opportunity to be personally recognized. In a traditional live commencement ceremony, a graduate’s name is read as they walk across the stage to be recognized. In this virtual ceremony, each graduate has a custom online graphic display with their name and degree and the opportunity for additional personalization with a photo and recording of their name.
Students interested in personalizing their commencement graphic need to respond to the email request from Marching Order, the company UToledo is working with to host this virtual commencement ceremony, and provide their information by the April 13 deadline.
“I am heartbroken that we cannot have a traditional commencement ceremony this year and it was important to me that we find another way to recognize the perseverance of the Class of 2020,” Gaber said. “I am proud of the way this group of graduates has handled this unprecedented situation and I look forward to celebrating them virtually.”
Graduates who planned to participate in the spring commencement ceremonies also are invited to participate in the University’s fall commencement ceremony planned for Dec. 12 in Savage Arena.
In the days and weeks leading up to the virtual commencement on May 9, UToledo will celebrate graduates on social media using #UToledo20. Members of the Class of 2020 are encouraged to share favorite campus memories, mentors who helped them succeed and other stories. UToledo alumni, faculty and staff also will provide words of encouragement and congratulations to the newest UToledo alumni.