HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Marshall University is planning to host its rescheduled 2020 Spring Commencement Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 8, at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
University officials say 1,597 students graduated with degrees in May 2020 with 524 students graduating with honors. Officials do not expect all graduates will attend the ceremony, but the outdoor stadium location should allow the university to follow public health guidelines and honor the 2020 graduates in a safe way, according to Dr. Sonja Cantrell-Johnson, university registrar.
“We are working closely with our Office of Environmental Health and Safety to ensure we provide our graduates with as close to a traditional commencement ceremony as possible,” Cantrell-Johnson said. “We’ve made several changes to the event to provide a safe environment for those who wish to attend.”
University officials say some of the changes to the ceremony include:
- All attendees will be required to wear masks;
- Social distancing protocols will be in place with faculty representatives assigned to place graduates at least six feet apart;
- Graduates will receive four guest tickets for family members or friends who wish to attend to minimize the number of attendees. Graduates will not need tickets to access the stadium.
The ceremony is scheduled to have an abbreviated program with Jennifer Wells, executive director of Our Future West Virginia, serving as the commencement keynote speaker, according to the university. An honorary degree will be given to Robert “Bob” Simpson, former interim dean of the Lewis College of Business and director of the BB&T Center for Leadership.
Officials say circumstances surrounding the pandemic could result in changes to the rescheduled ceremony.