UW-Superior held their first ever virtual commencement in the fall, honoring those who earned degrees in the 2019-20 school year. This semester’s commencement takes place May 15, beginning at noon.
File Photo by Promethean Staff

The University of Wisconsin-Superior will be hosting their second-ever virtual commencement ceremony on May 15, beginning at 12:00 p.m. The ceremony, which will honor spring and summer 2021 graduates, was originally scheduled to be in-person but will be held virtually due to COVID-19.

In a statement to the campus community before the December 2020 virtual commencement, Chancellor Renée Wachter said, “Graduation is such a significant milestone and accomplishment, especially with all of the unique challenges that 2020 has brought!”

The ceremony will not be livestreamed, rather, it will be a webpage of videos and personalized slides for each student. For up to one year, students and their families will be able to view and share the graduation slides on their own time.

However, the university has planned a number of activities in the weeks leading up to graduation in order to celebrate the accomplishments of students. Some of these events have already started.

Students have been able to pick up their honor cords and grad bags from the registrar’s office in Old Main 139 since April 19. This service will continue to be available until May 13. If a student is unable to pick up their grad bag, they will be mailed one alongside their diploma over the summer.

Beginning April 30, various departments across campus will have their senior capstone presentations. These presentations represent a culmination of work that the senior student has spent their entire semester researching, designing, creating, and now presenting. Capstone presentations will continue until the end of the semester on May 13. More information can be found in the student digest.

On May 11, a senior send-off BBQ will be held from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The event will take place outside on the YU Plaza and all campus community members are welcome to partake.

Finally, over the course of May 14 and May 15, students may register in advance for a Grad Walk. This special ceremony allows students to celebrate their accomplishment by walking across the stage and having the opportunity to have a grad photo taken. Timeslots for this event are available between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

Social distancing protocols will be maintained during this event. Students and their guests will not be seated, and they will be asked to depart the area once the student has walked the stage and had their photo taken.

At 12:00 p.m. on May 15, students and their families will be able to access the pre-recorded graduation ceremony.

The University has also put together a 2021 virtual graduation toolkit for this year’s seniors. The toolkit includes a number of assets and resources for students to use to share their accomplishments including Facebook cover photos, bookstore gifts, and a Kudoboard where family and friends can send messages and congratulations to the graduating class.

Like the fall virtual commencement, which honored nearly 800 students from four different graduating classes, the spring event was originally planned to be in-person. The University hopes that the commencement honoring 2021-22 graduates next spring will return to an in-person format. The University also seeks a return to at least 85% of classes in person beginning fall 2021.