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MSU to broadcast virtual commencement ceremony May 16

April 21, 2020
A moment from the Fall 2019 Commencement ceremony at Breslin Center on Dec. 14, 2019.
A moment from the Fall 2019 Commencement ceremony at Breslin Center on Dec. 14, 2019. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Michigan State University announced on Tuesday that they will be holding a virtual commencement ceremony for all undergraduate and graduate students set to receive their degrees at the conclusion of the 2020 spring semester.

The virtual commencement will be broadcast on MSU's Facebook page at 10 a.m. EDT on May 16. While the original ceremony on May 1 was postponed in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, this event will not be replacing it as graduating students will be invited to a future in-person commencement, according to an MSU Today article.

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in a press release that an in-person commencement would be unsafe as of now but added that he was proud of graduating students for their willingness to adapt amid adversity.

“From a public health standpoint, it simply isn’t safe to hold a traditional ceremony at this time," he said. "This class has shown incredible resiliency and I couldn’t be prouder. It is disappointing to be unable to express that in person, but we’ve found a way to overcome this challenge — that is what Spartans do.”

Stanley and Interim Provost Teresa A. Sullivan will speak in the commencement ceremony and students from the College of Music are set to perform as degrees are conferred. Sullivan said that she hopes that students will wear their caps and gowns while watching the stream, according to the MSU Today article.

“I encourage graduates to put on their caps and gowns to celebrate with us,” she said. “That way when the president confers the degrees they can all move their tassels from the right side of the cap to the left together. It is a symbol of their achievement, the support they’ve received from friends and family and going out into the world to do great things as Spartans.”

The article also said that the ceremony will be available for re-watch on Facebook immediately after it ends. In addition, virtual ceremonies for other colleges within MSU are in the process of being planned.

Editor's Note: This article was updated at 10:36 PM ET on April 21, 2020 to reflect that MSU's commencement had been postponed rather than canceled.

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