It’s spring, and with the season of warmer temperatures, budding trees and blooming flowers traditionally comes the celebration of student successes during universities’ commencement ceremonies. This year’s celebration at Wayne State University, however, will be a bit different due to the coronavirus pandemic that has affected the majority of the world.
Due to the need to continue practicing social distancing as a necessary public health measure, Wayne State is creating a virtual graduation celebration that will launch on Wednesday, April 29. This virtual celebration will not replace a formal commencement ceremony, which will be scheduled at a later date when it is deemed safe and practical to do so. Details regarding this in-person ceremony will be posted on the Wayne State commencement website as they become available.
In an effort to offer a timely acknowledgment and celebration of this spring’s graduates and their achievements, the university’s colleges, schools, and various other departments and divisions university-wide have partnered with the Office of Marketing and Communications to plan the virtual celebration.
“The coronavirus pandemic has caused major disruptions in our lives and necessitated major decisions at all levels,” said Michael Wright, vice president of marketing and communications and chief of staff. “Following the decision to postpone the university’s commencement, we collaborated with the schools/colleges, special events and the president’s office to create a virtual celebration. This is an important milestone for our graduates, and although we cannot be in person at this time to celebrate, we did not want this time to pass without acknowledging their accomplishments. We are grateful for the quick collaboration across campus to create the various digital activities.”
Through the collective efforts of the university community, schools and colleges are creating personal graduation acknowledgement videos, which will be posted on the commencement website. There will be a video message from President M. Roy Wilson, Provost Keith Whitfield, Board of Governors Chair Marilyn Kelly, and the deans of the participating schools and colleges. Separate activities are planned for the Law School and M.D. graduates within the medical school for their events, which are planned for May and June.
The digital graduation celebration content will include social media celebrations, Instagram and Facebook frames, Facebook and Twitter cover photos, digital e-cards, video degree conferral messages, a commencement booklet, and links to other celebrations scheduled at some schools and colleges.
The social media hashtag #myWSUstory will be used to invite students and families to recognize the class of 2020.
Also available at the commencement site is a FAQ page that offers responses to various questions about this year’s event as well as helpful information directed to student inquiries ranging from printed programs to picking up event regalia.
Leading up to the virtual celebration on April 29, stay tuned to the commencement webpage for announcements and updates.