The University of New Orleans is hosting a virtual commencement ceremony for its spring 2020 graduates that will stream May 31 at 2 p.m. on YouTube Live. The University’s conventional ceremony in the UNO Lakefront Arena has been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the graduates will have an opportunity to participate in an in-person ceremony at a later date, President John Nicklow said the virtual commencement is an appropriate interlude.
“It is still important that we take a moment now and celebrate their accomplishments and the people in their lives who have supported their education,” Nicklow said. “Each participating graduate will be recognized by name during the ceremony.”
The virtual ceremony will include some of the traditional elements of commencement but with shorter speeches. Even the signature second-line that punctuates the typical graduation ceremony will be a part of the virtual celebration.
The program will include video messages from Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and University of New Orleans alumna Sheba Turk, co-anchor of WWL-TV’s Eyewitness Morning News. Jazz saxophonist and composer Brian Wingard, a UNO graduate student in jazz studies, will perform the national anthem.
The virtual ceremony will include a shared main program and six individual links to the conferring of degrees for: Graduate School; College of Business Administration; College of Engineering; College of Sciences; College of Liberal Arts, Education & Human Development; and Interdisciplinary Studies.
The YouTube links to the six different virtual commencement ceremonies will be posted on commencement.uno.edu in the days leading up to the event
In order to be recognized during the virtual ceremony, graduates will need to register by May 19 and upload their photograph. By registering and submitting a photo, it will ensure that the graduate’s name is announced during the ceremony. Graduates will receive instructions via text message and email.
The registration will also give students access to custom UNO Class of 2020 social media filters. Students don’t need to wear regalia in the photo. The social media filters will include an augmented reality graduation cap.
“We look forward to celebrating our students and their graduation in festive UNO fashion, even if we’re not all in the same place,” Nicklow said.