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Graduates of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the spring 2020 semester will not walk across the stage at Pinnacle Bank Arena on May 8-9. Instead, graduates can attend a campus-wide virtual graduation on May 9 and will have the opportunity to attend in-person graduation ceremonies during the 2020-21 school year.

Chancellor Ronnie Green announced the cancellation to students on Tuesday morning and said that, while the UNL community does its part to stop the spread of COVID-19, he looks forward to having graduates attend the virtual graduation and celebrate in-person at graduation ceremonies in August or December later this year, in May 2021 or at a different date in the future.

Graduation ceremonies for the summer 2020 semester, fall 2020 semester and spring 2021 semester are currently scheduled for Aug. 15, Dec. 18-19 and May 7-8, 2021, respectively, according to the academic calendar.

“We know that commencement is a really special thing,” Green said in the announcement. “And while this semester has been interrupted in ways that we couldn’t have imagined, we’ve been thinking long and hard these last few weeks about how not to miss this opportunity and this celebratory moment for all of you and your journeys as Huskers.”

The Office of the University Registrar will contact graduates via email on April 10 to confirm mailing addresses, according to the UNL commencement website. Degrees will be mailed to graduates after May 9.

Graduating students will also have the chance to send their thoughts about completing their degree, which will be shared with the UNL community, according to Green. He said UNL will complete the conferral of student degrees so they become official on May 9 and will send a box with mementos to graduates to honor degree completion.

The spring Gradfest celebration, originally scheduled for April 21 and 22, and Senior Sendoff, scheduled for May 7, are also cancelled, according to the commencement website. The Nebraska Alumni Association will provide graduates with a one-year membership, which will be communicated via email and mail in the coming weeks.

Information for students wishing to purchase graduation regalia and those who pre-ordered their cap and gown will soon receive more information on how to proceed, according to the commencement website. 

Graduation application fees will not be reimbursed as they are separate from the commencement ceremony.

The class of 2020 entered as freshmen in 2016 when Green became UNL’s chancellor. He said the campus will work to honor this class of graduates now and in the future.

“You’re a special class, you’ll always hold a special place in the heart of this great institution and a special place for me as your chancellor,” Green said. “Work hard, do well, graduate, and we will celebrate with you now and always in the future.”