OU prepares for first virtual commencement ceremony

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – For the first time in 130 years, the University of Oklahoma will hold a virtual commencement ceremony for its graduating class.

Graduates, their families, and their friends are invited to go online to take part in OU’s first virtual commencement ceremony, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 8.

“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.”

So far, university officials say more than 3,500 graduation candidates have registered to participate in the commencement ceremony.

Organizers say the ceremony will include traditional components of commencement, like the singing of the national anthem, the OU Chant, a year-in-review video, and the official conferring of degrees.

This year, OU will award 5,927 bachelor’s degrees, 2,531 master’s degrees, 374 doctoral degrees, 675 professional degrees, and 316 college-level certificates.

Although they can’t celebrate in person, officials say each graduate will receive a celebration box, which contains items to help them make the most of their personal celebration during the 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. 

All May 2020 graduation candidates also may attend the university’s rescheduled spring 2020 graduation ceremonies, set for Aug. 8 and 9 in the Lloyd Noble Center on the Norman campus.

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