For the first time in its 130-year history, the University of Oklahoma will hold a virtual Commencement ceremony to celebrate its graduating class. The occasion marks the end of a unique academic experience of the Class of 2020.
Graduates and their families, friends and Sooners worldwide are invited to gather for OU’s first-ever virtual Commencement ceremony, which will be held starting at 7 p.m. CDT Friday, May 8, at ou.edu/commencement.
Viewers can also watch the virtual ceremony from 7 to 8 pm CT on YurView Oklahoma (Cox Channel 3) in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas.
“We are so proud of the members of the Class of 2020, who have remained steadfast during this time of uncertainty, representing the best of the Sooner spirit,” said OU Interim President Joseph Harroz Jr. “While the format for this year’s Commencement is different, our enthusiasm for celebrating our students has never waned, and the number participating in the ceremony reflects their resolve and love of our university. We are inspired by this class of graduates who will forever be an example of strength within the OU family.”
Nearly 3,500 graduation candidates have registered to participate in the virtual Commencement ceremony – a number comparable to OU’s standard in-person spring Commencement ceremony of years past.
HATS OFF to our 2020 graduating class! You’re so close! 🎓🎓🎓
(IG 📸: Meg Fonk, H.Pike, Chris Oven) pic.twitter.com/fMZlOEY5bx
— Univ. of Oklahoma (@UofOklahoma) May 1, 2020
The virtual ceremony will integrate traditional ceremonial components, such as the singing of the national anthem and the OU Chant, comments from student representatives from each college, formal remarks by Harroz, a year-in-review video produced by students in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Communication, and the official conferring of degrees.
Despite the online format, the university has worked to create a more personalized graduation experience, incorporating several interactive, celebratory elements in this year’s festivities.
In partnership with Candid Color Photography, graduates participating in the virtual ceremony were given the opportunity to create an individual recognition slide, which will include their name, college, degree, major, photo and an audio announcement.
Following the ceremony, graduates can download their slides and share them with others or on social media. In addition, graduates will receive celebration boxes, which contain items to help them make the most of their personal celebration during the Commencement ceremony.
As is the custom for OU’s Commencement, the virtual ceremony will conclude with the singing of the OU Chant and Oklahoma! together as the OU family. Leading this tradition will be students who submitted videos of themselves singing these classic spirit songs.
For the latest information on OU’s Commencement, visit ou.edu/commencement.
Friday, May 8th from 7-8 pm CT on YurView Oklahoma (Cox Ch. 3) and streaming online at ou.edu/commencement.