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2020 Commencement Announcement

April 9, 2020

Greetings SDSU Graduating Class of 2020,

Commencement is a signature moment marking the culmination of one’s college experience and a celebration of academic success. The SDSU Class of 2020 has enhanced our great university and you will be forever remembered for your contributions to the SDSU community and your achievements.

On March 24, 2020, a campus communication was sent to faculty, staff and students that outlined the move to online classes for the remainder of the semester. It also explained that Commencement would be postponed until further notice. Since that time, a task force has been dedicated to identify ways to celebrate the achievements of our graduates. The task force has sought input from many throughout our university, including most importantly, our students. After careful consideration of several factors, the task force put forth the following recommendation, which we have endorsed and will implement as it enables celebration of our graduates yet observes current health and safety guidance from the S.D. Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We all understand and share your disappointment that we are not able to gather in Frost Arena on the SDSU campus May 9, 2020. With that said, we cannot imagine you beginning your post-graduation journey without a proper celebration. Therefore, on May 9, 2020, we will host three virtual commencement ceremonies. At 10 a.m. CST, we will release a video commencement ceremony for undergraduate students receiving degrees from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, the College of Natural Sciences, the College of Nursing, and the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering. At 2 p.m. CST, a commencement video will be released for undergraduates receiving degrees from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Education and Human Sciences, and the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions. All master's and doctoral degree candidates will be honored in a commencement video released at 5 p.m. CST. Each video will feature student speakers, a guest keynote speaker, and the conferral of degrees.

In addition, we will make every effort to have copies of this year’s commencement program delivered to your homes in May. Please know that it is critically important that you fill out the Commencement Package Request form. Completing this process will ensure that you receive your commencement package and that we have contact information for a future celebration.

As for a future celebration, we are committed to providing you the opportunity to cross the stage as a Jackrabbit graduate. Given the current situation with COVID-19, we are unable to commit to a date at this time. Please know, however, that the commencement task force will continue to meet and will engage the SDSU COVID-19 response team to make a determination on the future celebration based on the public health situation. Again, so we are able to connect with you when we are able to proceed with that celebration, it is critically important that you complete the Commencement Package Request.

For those of you that would like to order a graduation cap, gown, tassel, etc., for delivery prior to May 9, 2020, please visit by April 24. The opportunity to purchase academic regalia will also be available when the date of the future celebration is set.

Please stay connected on all of South Dakota State University’s social media platforms. We look forward to engaging with and celebrating you, our graduates, on these platforms.

With Jackrabbit Pride,

Barry H. Dunn, Ph.D.  



Dennis D. Hedge, Pharm. D.

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs


Allyson Monson

Students’ Association President