UNR changes decision on spring graduation
No virtual commencement in May as previously announced
RENO – The University of Nevada, Reno, in consultation with student leadership, is postponing its May commencement and has determined that Spring 2020 graduates will have the choice to celebrate their achievements coinciding with, but be separate from, either the December 2020 graduation ceremonies or Spring 2021 ceremonies. The level of interest by graduates in which ceremony they choose will help the university determine the details of planning a memorable in-person experience for graduates and their families. There will be no virtual commencement in May as was previously announced.
“Our students deserve to have a unique time to share the joy of their achievement,” University President Marc Johnson said. “We will continue to work with our student leaders as we begin to plan something special. The University’s graduation department will be sending our graduates more information about these choices and will be requesting a preliminary show of interest to assist us in our planning.”
“Our student leadership, speaking on behalf of our undergraduate and graduate students, made it abundantly clear how extremely disappointed they were with our earlier decision,” Johnson said. “We want the members of the Class of 2020 to know that we’ve heard them.”
Johnson praised the University’s student leadership, including ASUN President Anthony Martinez and Graduate Student Association President Tamara Guinn, for expressing many of the concerns students had shared about the University’s original plan to share May’s Commencement virtually.
“I’m so pleased, not only personally, but for all our entire student body, that President Johnson and the University’s administration had a willingness to listen to the stories we’ve heard over the past few days, from students who truly felt heart-broken,” Martinez said. “Not gathering to celebrate their graduation runs contrary to what this institution is all about. It’s not just the opportunity that conferral of a degree represents. It is celebrating and acknowledging, the many personal journeys our students have traveled in reaching their graduation. Reaching out to our students to find out their wishes is a great first step in ensuring the University isn’t forgetting this spring’s graduates.”
Guinn said her constituency of graduate students had expressed similar sentiments.
“For many students, and particularly graduate students, there are family considerations that one must navigate throughout their pursuit of a degree,” she said. “People make major sacrifices along the way. The attainment of a degree becomes a very personal thing. I’ve always felt that our commencement ceremonies have a very inspiring, communal and familial feel to them, because a person’s degree belongs to more than just them. Graduate students face unique challenges as they achieve their degrees.”
University students have been informed of the decision through a letter from Johnson and Vice President of Student Services Shannon Ellis.
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