Penn State To Host Virtual Fall Commencement December 19

Penn State will host its fall commencement ceremony virtually this winter due to the coronavirus pandemic, the university announced Wednesday afternoon.

The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 19. More than 5,000 graduates will be recognized at the event, including undergraduate and graduate students from all Penn State campuses.

The virtual ceremony will be available for public viewing through an online stream.

On top of their diplomas, formal remarks, and induction into the Penn State Alumni Association, graduates can take advantage of “additional digital content” created for each academic college and campus at the ceremony.

“Our graduates have accomplished significant personal milestones in completing their degrees. I am so proud of all of them and they deserve to be recognized,” Penn State President Eric Barron said. “Unfortunately, as we continue to navigate the uncertainties associated with the global pandemic, we cannot gather in person safely. A virtual ceremony is the safest, immediate option for us to recognize this class and the achievements of its members.”

Barron reiterated Penn State will invite graduates back to campus to properly celebrate “when public health guidelines permit.” Spring 2020 and summer 2020 graduates are also stuck in limbo regarding true in-person commencement festivities.

Penn State said it will notify graduates about in-person events once concrete plans are formed. It said “many uncertainties and changing challenges” regarding the pandemic have prevented it from establishing dates and logistics for a true commencement ceremony.

Students planning to graduate this fall should 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 their respective advising offices.

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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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