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USF to hold virtual commencement, let spring graduates walk in summer ceremonies

Summer commencement ceremonies are planned for Aug. 6-9, but they depend on ongoing guidance from health authorities amid the pandemic.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. — University of South Florida graduates who have had their graduation plans upended by the coronavirus pandemic will have two options to celebrate their achievements.

USF announced Tuesday that the university will host virtual commencement ceremonies in May for each campus. The virtual ceremonies will include many of the same traditions as in-person ones, like remarks from President Steven Curall and student body leaders as well as recognizing Outstanding Graduate Award winners and those who earned a 4.0 GPA.

And, the ceremonies will include conferring of degrees with the names of each graduate appearing on the screen. 

The virtual commencements will be available for viewing beginning May 9, which was the original date for normal spring commencement.

For those who really want to experience of walking across a stage and completing college, USF is expanding the number of in-person commencement ceremonies this summer. The summer ceremonies are tentatively scheduled for Aug. 6-9.

The pandemic is still ongoing, so the summer ceremonies are contingent on further guidance from health and government authorities regarding social distancing and isolation.

“I’m deeply sympathetic to our spring 2020 graduates who have had their final semester impacted by the coronavirus in ways no one could have imagined,” Currall said Tuesday in messages addressed to students. “Although traditional on-campus commencement ceremonies won’t be held this May, we have worked diligently to provide alternatives that will give our graduates the recognition they deserve. We know that nothing will be able to replace a traditional commencement ceremony, but it’s important that we plan several activities to express pride and admiration for our graduates and their accomplishments.” 

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