The University of Georgia has announced Commencement ceremonies for its spring 2020 graduates, inviting them to join together and celebrate their accomplishments inside Sanford Stadium and Stegeman Coliseum this fall—provided these gatherings are declared safe by federal and state health officials, university President Jere W. Morehead announced Friday.
In a letter to graduates, Morehead shared the university’s new Commencement plans:
- The spring 2020 undergraduate Commencement ceremony has been scheduled for Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. in Sanford Stadium.
- The spring 2020 graduate Commencement ceremony for master’s and doctoral degree candidates has been scheduled for Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, at 2:30 p.m. in Stegeman Coliseum, in combination with the regularly scheduled fall 2020 graduate Commencement.
In his announcement, Morehead stated that these in-person ceremonies will take place only if “it is deemed safe to do so at that time by the CDC and state health officials.” He also said he shared the students’ disappointment that the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic forced the university to cancel the spring Commencement ceremonies originally scheduled for May 8.
“This time-honored tradition marks the culmination of the hopes, dreams, hard work and sacrifices of you and your families,” Morehead told graduates. “While the current pandemic has unfortunately led to a cancellation of May graduation ceremonies across the nation, including the University of Georgia’s, your achievements are in no way diminished by this necessary action.”
This announcement follows extensive conversations involving student leaders, UGA vice presidents and deans, and representatives of several other campus units. The university still plans to commemorate the original Commencement date of May 8 with a congratulatory online message to acknowledge the conferral of degrees earned by the graduates.
“We do not want to let this important moment pass by without acknowledging its significance. It is truly a long-awaited culmination of your efforts, and for some of you it may be your sole chance to celebrate this accomplishment,” Morehead told graduates, adding, “We look to the fall as a time when we will hopefully be ready and able to gather once again. I trust that you and your classmates, whose love for the University of Georgia is unmatched, will return in force to Athens when the time is safe to do so.”