(JACKSON, Miss.) — Jackson State University’s live virtual Fall 2020 Commencement will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 11, and it will bestow 372 undergraduate and 175 graduate degrees in a non-traditional ceremony due to COVID-19.
The program won’t include a keynote speaker. Instead, the ceremony will be a public recognition of the 547 graduates.
Dr. Alisa Mosley, interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, said that while the event will be live COVID-19 restrictions will limit the number of people allowed inside the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center. Only JSU administrators participating in the program will be part of the live experience. The goal is to keep graduates safe and healthy in the confines of their residences. Instead, readers will call out the candidates’ names.
An online program with additional information about the upcoming ceremony has been developed and will be accessible on the day of the program.
Of the online occasion, Mosley said, “We have had some interruptions on every aspect of the university, and, unfortunately, our university rituals were dramatically affected. We celebrate our graduation the same way annually, and the spread of the pandemic forces us to alter the traditional ceremony. In an abundance of caution, we decided to mark this significant milestone in a virtual space.”
Furthermore, she said, “The driver in our motivation to offer courses in the fall semester was the student’s ability to progress and graduate. It is will gladness that we take this time to celebrate. All 2020 graduates have the opportunity to participate in an in-person ceremony in May 2021, including those who completed requirements in Spring 2020, Summer 2020 and Fall 2020.”
Mosley said additional information about the commencement ceremony is forthcoming.
“We will send final reminders and ideas to celebrate the week of the ceremony. Stay tuned to the emails about the ceremony. While it is not the traditional Jackson State graduation ceremony, we want to recognize academic achievements,” Mosley said.
She reiterated that students may participate in JSU’s in-person ceremonies on May 7, 2021, for graduates and May 8, 2021, for undergraduates. The location for both ceremonies will be at the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“We applaud all 2020 graduates who have reached this goal of their academic journey,” Mosley said.