The University of Georgia welcomed its newest alumni virtually on Dec. 18.
Graduates were celebrated in two different videos—one for the undergraduate Commencement ceremony, and one for the graduate Commencement ceremony. Both videos can be viewed at commencement.uga.edu.
“Today is symbolic of your resilience and determination, your adaptability and resourcefulness. I commend you for all you have overcome and all you have sacrificed to keep yourself and others safe during the pandemic,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Although we are not able to be together in person, we are together in spirit. We are the Bulldog Nation, and we are united in our commitment to improve lives and strengthen communities, wherever we are.”
UGA’s first-ever virtual Commencement ceremonies brought on by the novel coronavirus included traditional ceremonial components, such as the singing of the national anthem, formal remarks by Morehead and the official conferring of degrees. Those traditions were blended with new components like a prelude of shared thoughts from student speakers and congratulations and well wishes from notable alumni. Both ceremonies concluded with special photo and video memories from the past four years.
“My experience at the University of Georgia has been a metaphorical journey,” said Justin Nixon, who earned a degree in political science. “It’s been the intersection where networking meets opportunities, where hard work meets long hours, where achievement meets an unwavering dedication to defy all odds, and where failures collide with successes.”
A total of 4,400 students—1,874 undergraduates and 2,526 graduate students—met requirements to graduate.
Sixteen students were recognized as First Honor Graduates during the undergraduate ceremony for maintaining a 4.0 cumulative GPA in all work completed at UGA as well as all college-level transfer work prior to or following enrollment at the university.
Of the 2,526 spring, summer and fall graduate students eligible to graduate, 519 were doctoral candidates, and 2,007 received their master’s or specialist degrees.
A unique, celebratory gift will be mailed to every graduate eligible to participate in the virtual ceremonies. Graduates should update their addresses to receive their gifts at commencement.uga.edu by Jan. 3, 2021.
“To our graduates, you represent tangible and inspiring evidence of the wisdom and foresight of those who drafted the charter of the University of Georgia and thus began in 1785 the great American tradition of public higher education,” Morehead said. “You are the next generation of leaders of our state, nation and world.”