Northwestern State University will honor Spring 2020 graduates with a virtual commencement ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, May 8. The virtual ceremony will include many elements of NSU’s traditional graduation ceremonies with messages from NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, college deans and university officials. The name of each graduate will be read aloud.
“Although unexpected circumstances have required that all of us make changes in our lives and habits, we believe that our graduates deserve to be recognized and we plan to do exactly that with all the traditions that make commencement special,” Maggio said. “Family and friends will be able to join the celebration from the safety of their homes and memories can be shared on social media and other platforms. Northwestern State University’s Spring 2020 commencement will be remembered as an unprecedented event during unprecedented circumstances.”
Students are invited to submit photos of themselves on campus, graduation photos in caps and gowns, gathering with friends and/or at NSU events to be included in a slideshow that will be featured at the end of the virtual commencement celebration. To be included in the slideshow student should submit photos to marketing at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. Friday, May 1.
NSU alumna Holli´ Conway will be commencement speaker. Conway is a 2016 magna cum laude graduate of NSU who was Miss Louisiana 2018 and second runner-up in Miss America 2018. A graduate of NSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance, Conway made her Broadway debut last fall in “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical.”
In addition to the virtual ceremony, a traditional graduation program is being planned for spring graduates on Aug. 8. This date is contingent on health and safety guidelines that are in effect at that time. Graduating seniors should check their email for messages related to upcoming ceremonies. Students will have the option to participate in the August 8 ceremony or Fall Commencement on Dec. 18.
Administrators encourage graduating seniors to participate in the virtual ceremony and submit their photos for the slideshow.
“I love commencement day. It is one of the happiest and most meaningful moments of the college experience,” said Dean of Students Frances Conine. “It’s a time to say good job, good luck and goodbye. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”
“Commencement is one of academia’s most treasured ceremonies and traditions and one that allows us, as a community, to celebrate our graduates and wish them well as they continue to move on into their professions,” said Dr. Greg Handel, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the Graduate School. “While a virtual ceremony cannot replace an in-person ceremony, please rest assured that we are working to create a unique and special experience that highlights and celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments of our graduates throughout a difficult time. Also, know that you are invited back to campus to participate in a later ceremony of your choice — either in the summer or fall.”