FARGO — North Dakota State University and other area schools will host virtual graduations because of the coronavirus pandemic, while others discuss plans on how to honor their graduates.
NDSU announced Monday, May 4, it would host a spring commencement celebration at 10 a.m. May 16 on Facebook. The event will feature video messages from President Dean Bresciani and 2020 graduates Makayla Hackman and Matthew Friedmann, according to NDSU. Graduates will receive a diploma cover and printed program in the mail, the school said.
The 2,250 students expected to graduate on May 15 should receive their diplomas about six weeks from that date, NDSU said. The online celebration is not considered a ceremony, the school said.
"We are incredibly proud of their accomplishments," NDSU said in a statement. "While an official commencement ceremony is planned for December, we wanted graduates and their families to have resources to celebrate at home this spring."
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted schools to cancel or postpone in-person ceremonies, which typically attract thousands of graduates, professors, staff and family members to the events.
The North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton announced April 23 it would hold its commencement, originally scheduled for May 15, at 4 p.m. Aug. 21. Mayville (N.D.) State University has postponed its graduation to Sept. 25, according to its website.
Concordia College in Moorhead held an online celebration for 450 graduates on Sunday, May 3. Valley City (N.D.) State University will host a virtual commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. May 16 on its YouTube channel, VCSUVikings.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead has postponed the in-person commencement until the fall, spokesman Peter Wielinski said in an email to The Forum. The school plans to hold a virtual celebration at 7 p.m. June 25, he said.
"Our teams are still finalizing the specific details of how we will celebrate our students virtually, and additional information will be shared soon," he said.
At the direction of Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra, Minnesota State University Moorhead canceled its spring ceremony but is working on a way to celebrate the graduating class of 2020, the school said.
"We don’t take these decisions lightly," the school said on its website. "As the capstone celebration of the college experience, commencement is one of our favorite days of the year. ... While we don’t know yet how we will celebrate commencement, know that we’ll be discussing options once the semester resumes."
NDSU has provided resources for celebrating graduation, including a commencement program, video, social media graphics and decoration designs, at bit.ly/3fnLgXQ. For more information on the events and to see the videos of graduation messages when posted, go to facebook.com/events/1087008418322168.