MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University will hold a “virtual commencement experience” for graduates in May, then have an in-person celebration in December, the school said Wednesday.
The plans were announced in a letter and video from President Gordon Gee to the Class of 2020.
“You are truly a special class,” Gee said. “And this experience will be just one of many that will shape you throughout your life. Though the time in which we find ourselves is one of the most challenging our nation has ever faced, we know that our campus, our state and our country will come together again – stronger and more resilient than ever before. After all, we are Mountaineers.”
The online commencement experience is titled Mountaineer Graduation Day and will be held Saturday, May 16.
Potomac State College in Keyser and WVU Tech in Beckley will make their own announcements about commencement ceremonies separately.
The event will include ways for graduates to share their celebration with classmates, family and friends, as well as special moments to connect them with the University. More information will be shared soon with candidates and their families.
The University will hold a special commencement ceremony for all May graduates on Saturday, Dec. 19 to recognize and celebrate their achievements. Details will be forthcoming.
The extraordinary action was taken as part of the University’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world. Last week, the school announced that it would move to alternate delivery of classes for the rest of the spring semester. It had previously delayed a return after spring break.
“No one understands and empathizes with your disappointment more than we do,” Gee said in the letter. “We love and treasure you for all the energy, ideas and joy you bring to our campus. We have watched you take your first steps on campus, find your bearings and blossom into brilliant, young minds who have pursued their dreams with passion and with purpose.
“And that is why we cannot imagine sending you out into the world without a proper celebration,” he added.