To the August Class of 2020

A Message from Chancellor Gilliam Regarding Commencement

Dear UNCG August Class of 2020,

In the time since you finished your studies at UNCG, you have navigated an incredibly challenging social, cultural, and economic environment. I hope you are doing well, staying healthy, and finding your way forward. On campus, we hoped that we would begin the new academic year with more of a sense of normalcy, but as you all know, COVID-19 had other plans. 

I congratulate you on graduating this summer.  You deserve our respect, our thanks, and our full attention to celebrating what you have done. We will do our best to provide that platform in an environment where the COVID-19 virus still dictates what we can do and how we can come together. It has become clear that a large, traditional December commencement will not be viable based on current state guidelines and county health directives.

For undergraduate and master’s students, we will gather for a virtual event on December 11 at 10:00 am. The doctoral hooding ceremony will be in January (date TBD). We have asked our May 2020 graduates to join you at these events. As you likely know, our May class did not have any real ceremony because of the rapid pace of change last Spring. So, we will welcome them with open arms to our December event, and celebrate with them your collective achievements.  The year 2020 brought social, cultural, and economic challenges that will never be forgotten.

We will work with student leaders on plans, and we will communicate more on these ceremonies in the weeks to come. Please know how much we all wish we could shake your hands, hand you diplomas, and watch you cross (sometimes with a step, spin, dance, or a backflip) our stage. We will do all we can to make this moment as special as possible. You have certainly earned that.

Thank you, and Go Spartans!