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WATCH: MSU's virtual commencement ceremony

May 16, 2020

After concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan State announced on April 21 that this year's commencement ceremony would be held virtually.

The event was originally scheduled for May 1 as an in-person event but was postponed due to the ongoing pandemic and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order. This in-person event is not being canceled altogether, and graduating students will be invited to an in-person ceremony when it is deemed safe. 

"From a public health standpoint, it’s still not safe to hold a traditional ceremony at this time, but the class of 2020 still deserves to celebrate graduation," MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in an April 28 email to the Spartan community.

Graduation is a momentous occasion for students. Here's how to watch and make the most of the virtual ceremony.

How to watch

The virtual commencement ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. It will be broadcast via MSU's Facebook page and at msu.edu. All graduating undergraduate students, graduate students and their families and friends are invited to participate. 

Below is the video itself:


Making the most of the virtual ceremony

Before the ceremony, graduates are asked to download a PDF of the official ceremony program as a keepsake. Graduates are also invited to wear their official cap, gown, robe and tassel during the virtual ceremony. If a graduate doesn't have any of these, they're asked to wear whatever Spartan gear they own or a different hat to toss or tassel to move. 

"I encourage graduates to put on their caps and gowns to celebrate with us," Interim Provost Teresa A. Sullivan said in a press release. "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."

Both Stanley and Sullivan will speak during the virtual ceremony and students from the College of Music will perform as degrees are conferred. Students are also asked to memorize the words to "Victory for MSU" and "MSU Shadows" to sing along. 

The ceremony will be recorded and available to watch over again after it has completed.

Virtual events, ceremonies, and online recognitions are also are being planned by many of the other individual colleges within MSU.

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