University of Iowa seniors may participate in fall 2020 or spring 2021 commencement ceremonies

The UI will hold a virtual commencement ceremony to celebrate graduates in May, but seniors may also return to campus to participate in the fall 2020 or spring 2021 ceremonies.


File/The Daily Iowan

University of Iowa mascot Herky the Hawkeye goes back out On Parade for the 10th Anniversary of Herky on Parade on Monday, May 5, 2014.

Caleb McCullough, Assistant Politics Editor

Spring 2020 graduates will be able to participate in a virtual commencement, and be given the opportunity to walk in future in-person commencement ceremonies, according to a University of Iowa email sent to students Wednesday morning. 

Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies were canceled on March 18 along with the announcement that classes would be moved online for the rest of the semester as part of the UI’s measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

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“Hosting a virtual ceremony gives our graduates and their families a much-needed end-of-semester celebration while also protecting the health and safety of the Hawkeye community,” said the email, which was signed by UI President Bruce Harreld and Provost Montserrat Fuentes.

Each college will organize a virtual ceremony for graduating students, which will include speakers from university leadership, the state Board of Regents, and others, along with recognition of individual graduates. The ceremonies will be livestreamed on Graduates will also get a package including a program commencement program commemorating the extraordinary circumstances of the semester. 

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In addition, graduates will have the option to participate in in-person commencements in both the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. Graduates can still purchase their caps and gowns through the Hawk Shop.

“By the end of the semester, spring 2020 graduates will have faced not only the usual trials and tribulations of attaining a university degree, but also will have overcome the unprecedented situation of rapidly transitioning to online learning in the midst of a global pandemic — no mean feat,” the email said. “We are so very proud of all of you, and grateful for how quickly you’ve adapted.”