University of Wyoming to Hold Virtual Commencement Due to Pomp and Circumstances

University of Wyoming to Hold Virtual Commencement Due to Pomp and Circumstances

Written by on February 25, 2021

COVID-19 might be winding down in Wyoming, but the University of Wyoming isn’t taking any chances with its biggest in-person gathering of the year.

In light of the ongoing global pandemic, the University of Wyoming has announced that its Spring 2021 commencement ceremony will be held virtually on Saturday, May 15, at 10 a.m.

“With the increasing availability of the COVID vaccine and decreasing numbers of cases, there’s reason to be optimistic that we’re turning the corner on the pandemic. However, it does not appear that conditions in May will allow for the traditional large, in-person commencement ceremonies,” says Ryan O’Neil, dean of students and associate vice president for student affairs. “We are planning a very memorable virtual ceremony similar to those we conducted last year, and we hope our new graduates, their families, and friends will join us in celebrating their wonderful accomplishments.”In a statement announcing the virtual ceremony, several factors were listed as reasons to hold off on an in-person event.

Several factors were listed as reasons to hold off on an in-person event.

Wyoming’s COVID climate is be improving, but university officials are aware of the national diversity of their graduates.

People travel to Wyoming from all over the country – if not the world – to attend the University of Wyoming commencement, something that isn’t safe in the current climate.

Furthermore, a virtual ceremony fits easier into the campus model for the end of the Spring 2021 semester. All UW courses are moving to online delivery once the college closes for spring break (March 31 – April 4) so graduating students won’t even be on campus for such an event.

Graduating Cowboys will still receive a mortarboard, tassel, and stole for photographs and keepsakes of the event, and students graduating with honors will get the appropriate cords. Robes will not be provided but are available for purchase.

UW is planning a socially distanced, drop-in event with Lifetouch photographers in late March before classes move online for the remainder of the semester. Spring graduates would have the opportunity to have professional portraits taken at no additional cost.

And, as always, recent graduates will have the opportunity to participate in the next in-person spring or winter commencement if they wish. This isn’t a pandemic concession – it’s a practice UW has encouraged for several years.

There is no additional information on how the actual ceremony will look and on what online platform it will be held.

More information will be released as university officials confirm the details.

This is one of the many concessions UW has made to its 2020-2021 school year. From the very beginning, the university took no chances they might spread COVID-19 and moved the entire school to virtual classes.

Campus buildings were periodically closed as cases were confirmed in various departments. Widespread COVID-19 testing began in

Fall 2021 at the University of Wyoming will likely not be “back to normal,” but it will be closer. The university is already planning for more in-person experiences and fewer COVID-related restrictions, but that will be dependent on the number of cases and vaccine availability.


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