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Penn State’s Virtual Summer Commencement Set For August 15

Penn State will host its summer commencement ceremony online in August due to the coronavirus pandemic, the university announced Tuesday afternoon.

While adhering to public health guidelines that restrict large gatherings and emphasize social distancing, Penn State will livestream a virtual commencement ceremony starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 15.

“I am extremely proud of our students and all that they have accomplished, especially through the ongoing pandemic. Their resilience and flexibility is notable and signals characteristics of those who can face adversity with success,” President Eric Barron said. “While I wish we could celebrate together in person in August, that is not in the best interests of the health and safety of our communities. Gathering first virtually provides the opportunity every student deserves to celebrate their personal milestone at this time with their families, friends and the University community.” 

Similar to this spring’s ceremonies, summer commencement will include formal remarks from speakers and alumni. They’ll also get to take part in virtual programming tailored to different campuses and academic colleges, as well as personalized presentation slides for grads.

Although most of Pennsylvania, including Centre County, has already entered the “green phase” of Governor Tom Wolf’s reopening plan, state guidelines cap social gatherings at 250 people.

Penn State currently remains committed to inviting soon-to-be graduates back to campus to celebrate once it’s safe to do so. Barron reiterated his hopes for an on-campus celebration during two virtual town halls Monday.

Students planning to graduate this summer will receive information about the virtual ceremony through their Penn State emails in the coming weeks. Students planning to graduate who don’t receive an email should contact [email protected].

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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