EDMOND - The University of Central Oklahoma will celebrate its spring 2020 graduates with a virtual commencement ceremony in light of in-person commencement ceremonies being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also be invited to participate in the in-person fall 2020 ceremonies.

The virtual ceremony will take place online May 22. Students will receive communication by email from the university’s partner, Stage Clips, on how to access the ceremony and how to personalize their graduation slide with a photo and a personal message that will be shown during the ceremony. The ceremony will not be presented live, allowing graduates and their friends and family to access it at any time after they receive instructions.

The ceremony will include a reading of each graduate’s name and remarks from UCO President Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar.

“Honoring graduates through our commencement ceremony is one of UCO’s most important traditions. Our entire university community shares in our graduating students’ disappointment over losing their last moments on campus with friends and professors and year-end celebrations,” Neuhold-Ravikumar said.

“We understand nothing can completely replace the commencement experience we had planned. In light of the circumstances, we hope the virtual ceremony and the opportunity to participate in the Fall 2020 ceremonies shows our graduates how proud we are of them.”

Students must have applied for graduation and been officially cleared for inclusion in the virtual ceremony.

Graduates will also receive a tassel, cap and diploma cover by mail prior to the virtual ceremony. They are encouraged to take photos and videos celebrating their graduation and share them on social media using #UCOGrad2020. Graduates will receive their diplomas by mail at a later date.

Graduates are also invited to participate in a virtual tassel turn. Undergraduate commencement traditionally ends with graduates being invited to turn their tassel from the right side of their cap to the left. For the virtual ceremony, graduates can record a video of themselves in their cap completing the ritual and upload it at http://tasselturn.uco.edu by May 4. Submitted videos will then be edited together for a virtual tassel turn that will be included in the virtual ceremony.

For more information regarding the virtual ceremony, visit www.uco.edu/admissions-aid/graduation-services/commencement/virtual-commencement.