Rocket Nation will gather together virtually on Sunday, Dec. 6 to celebrate the Class of 2020 during an online version of the traditional commencement ceremony.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is preventing a large crowd from gathering together in Savage Arena, Rockets in Toledo and beyond will fire up their computers and smartphones to follow along together remotely as University leaders recognize graduates, including a keynote address and messages from each dean to the graduates of their colleges.
“We are proud to celebrate our graduates at every commencement ceremony, but the Class of 2020 is unique,” UToledo Interim President Gregory Postel said. “The resilience these students have shown to successfully achieve their educational goals despite the significant challenges caused by a global pandemic is incredible. We look forward to celebrating their achievements at our virtual commencement ceremony.”
The virtual commencement will go live at 9 a.m. online at utoledo.edu/commencement and will include the pomp and circumstance of a traditional in-person ceremony, with a processional, messages from campus leaders, presentations of degrees, and singing the alma mater.
A distinguished physician-scientist will serve as the keynote speaker. Dr. David Satcher, who served as the 16th Surgeon General of the United States from 1998 to 2002, and the 10th Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services from 1998 to 2001, will address the newest alumni of UToledo.
Dr. Satcher also served as the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
He spent his career working to improve public health policy for all Americans and has remained committed to eliminating health disparities for minorities, the poor and other disadvantaged groups. Currently, he is the founding director and senior advisor for the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.
The digital format of the commencement also will allow for more participation from the campus community through video submissions of what it means to be a Rocket and from graduates about their plans after graduation.
Each graduate will be recognized with a scrolling of names on the screen during the ceremony, an online graphic display with the opportunity for additional personalization on the commencement website, and in a printed formal commencement event program.