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South Dakota State University to hold virtual commencement May 9

South Dakota State University will hold its 2020 commencement ceremonies virtually May 9. The Graduation Task Force continues planning for an in-person commencement ceremony during the fall semester, if conditions allow.

Amber Alvey graduate student
Amber Alvey, the graduate commencement ceremony student speaker, records her speech for the May 9 virtual ceremony.

South Dakota State University will hold its 2020 commencement ceremonies virtually May 9.

There are a series of three videos, each representing the different commencement ceremonies set to take place.

The commencement videos (all Central time) will be released about 30 minutes prior to these times:

  • 10 a.m., 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;
  • 2 p.m., 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; and
  • 5 p.m., all master's and doctoral degree candidates.

 

Links to the virtual commencement ceremonies can be found online May 9. All are invited to watch the ceremonies. Share your congratulations to the graduates and memories from SDSU on social media using the hashtag #SDState20.

Like SDSU’s traditional commencement ceremonies, President Barry H. Dunn will preside over each prerecorded ceremony. The ceremonies will feature speakers from across campus representing the Office of Academic Affairs, respective colleges, SDSU Alumni Association, South Dakota Board of Regents and more. Student speakers who were nominated and selected to speak at commencement will also be featured. Each student who completed a graduation application will have their name read in their respective ceremony as their degrees are conferred. There are 2,661 graduates whose names will be read in these ceremonies. The graduates are from summer and fall 2019 semesters as well as the spring 2020 semester.

“We are excited to celebrate our graduates in this way. While we know it is not ideal, I think it shows our students how much we care about them at SDSU. They deserve closure to their college experience, as we know so many of them will be off making a big impact in the world with their degree in hand,” University event coordinator Jamison Lamp said. “It has a been a significant undertaking to organize and coordinate the execution of this plan. Many across campus have stepped up and volunteered to help and everyone brings forth ideas and little things that will make this a special day for the Class of 2020.”

The Graduation Task Force made the decision to hold virtual commencement ceremonies after examining several options and listening to student input. In addition to a virtual ceremony, graduates could opt in to receive a package from SDSU. Approximately 1,200 graduates will be mailed two copies of the commencement program, an alumni coin and a personalized note from their respective college. Faculty and staff have gathered and packed the materials to send to the graduates.

Other special events that surround commencement are also going virtual. The College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions is holding its hooding ceremony online and the College of Nursing is holding a virtual pinning ceremony. Stethoscope ceremonies and the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College’s honors medallion ceremonies are all online as well. Several of these are videos are Zoom call celebrations for the graduates and their loved ones.

The Graduation Task Force continues planning for an in-person commencement ceremony during the fall semester, if conditions allow. During that ceremony, spring, summer and fall 2020 graduates would have the opportunity to participate.