McNeese State University will honor its spring graduates with a virtual commencement ceremony Saturday, May 16. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. and will be streamed on the university’s Facebook page.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of traditional spring commencement ceremonies scheduled at McNeese and at other institutions across the nation.
“The Spring 2020 graduates may be our most resilient and best prepared alumni to handle future adversity,” said McNeese President Dr. Daryl V. Burckel. “They encountered the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic that everyone faced in addition to assuming personal accountability to complete their academic requirements in a completely different format.”
Burckel noted that many of the graduates are the first generation in their family to earn a college degree. “Our mission is to change lives and we wish the newest members of the McNeese alumni family great success as they go forward and make a life, make a living and make a difference in their communities and our world.”
The virtual program will incorporate many of the same elements associated with the traditional commencement ceremony, including welcome and congratulatory messages from university administrators and college deans and the conferring of degrees. A congratulatory message from Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards will also be included.
The Spring Class of 2020 includes 769 candidates from 37 parishes, 19 states and 30 countries, and 796 degrees will be awarded, including 44 associate degrees, 644 bachelor’s degrees and 108 master’s degrees.
Candidates’ names will not be individually announced during the virtual ceremony. The prospective candidates list will appear in the May 16 edition of the American Press and be posted online.
Diplomas and honor cords will be mailed to graduates the week following the virtual ceremony.
A traditional commencement program is being planned Aug. 1 for the spring graduates and their families. This date is contingent on health and safety guidelines that are in effect at that time. Graduating students should check their email for messages related to this upcoming ceremony.
To celebrate, graduates are encouraged to wear their regalia and to share their graduation photos on social media using #McNeeseGrad.