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Universities and colleges announce commencement alternatives for spring grads

COVID-19 has altered commencement plans for spring graduates. Here is what Colorado universities and colleges plan to do.

COLORADO, USA — (Editor's note: An earlier version of this article included incorrect information regarding MSU Denver's commencement ceremony. The article has since been updated.)

COVID-19 has altered plans for the commencement of 2020 spring graduates leading universities and colleges around the state to create alternatives to celebrate the achievement of these students.

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Cases of COVID-19, a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus, began popping up in the United States in January. On March 5, the first case was announced in Colorado. Governor Jared Polis declared a state of emergency on March 10 and since has issued a series of executive orders to promote social distancing, such as banning gatherings of more than 10 people.

Students around the state were notified of cancellation or postponement of spring commencement ceremonies. Alternative plans are beginning to surface to ensure graduates are able to celebrate their achievement. Alternatives announced include:

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University of Colorado at Denver:

CU Denver offers four options for graduation: regalia rental for photos, a virtual ceremony with graduate custom slides and name reading on May 16, a commencement ceremony for May graduates on Dec. 11, or diploma cover and program shipping for those that can’t make the Dec. 11 celebration.

Colorado State University:

Spring and summer graduates will be invited to walk alongside fellow Rams during the Fall 2020 ceremonies.

University of Colorado Boulder:

Class of 2020 graduates (including winter 2019 and spring 2020) are invited to a live-streamed commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16. Graduates are welcome to return to campus in May 2021 to walk in the university commencement ceremony and attend special recognition events.

University of Colorado Colorado Springs:

UCCS will hold a virtual commencement ceremony that will take place at 1 p.m., May 15.

Metropolitan State University of Denver:

MSU Denver said it will reschedule its commencement ceremony, but has not yet made a decision regarding the date. 

Colorado School of Mines:

Spring 2020 graduates are invited to attend a virtual commencement Friday, May 8. Graduates are invited to participate in December 2020 or May 2021 ceremonies. Summer options are also being explored.

Colorado Mesa University:

CMU will host a virtual ceremony May 16, and a traditional ceremony August 1. More information about the Aug. 1 commencement will follow in the coming months.

University of Denver:

DU has yet to cancel the commencement ceremonies scheduled for June 12 and 13 and will confirm these plans no later than May 1.

Colorado State University-Pueblo 

Commencement 2020 is scheduled for Saturday, December 12 in Massari Arena.

Colorado Christian University:

CCU is moving the May 2020 Commencement to a virtual ceremony that will be held on Friday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m.

Western Colorado University:

2020 commencement ceremony has been rescheduled for 10 a.m. September 26 at the Mountaineer Bowl.

Rocky Mountain College:

The spring 2020 commencement ceremony will be conducted in a virtual format, and graduates from the class of 2020 will be invited back to campus in May 2021 for a dual commencement ceremony with the class of 2021.

Aims Community College:

A virtual ceremony will go live on Friday, May 8 at 5 p.m.

Red Rocks Community College:

RRCC will conduct a virtual ceremony to recognize the achievements of the 2020 spring graduates.

University of Northern Colorado: 

UNC has yet to announce an alternative, but has stated on their website, “UNC cannot host an in-person event right now, the university's leadership and commencement teams are adamant that we provide the best possible celebration for our students. We don’t know what that will look like yet but we are going to be creative and committed to putting our students first.”

Regis University:

Students are being asked to complete a survey about how the university could best recognize the Class of 2020 when it is safe to do so.

Fort Lewis College:

Spring 2020 Commencement has been postponed. A new date will be announced as soon as it's set.

Community College of Denver:

CCD is working to develop an alternate plan for its celebration.

Front Range Community College

FRCC has communicated with prospective graduates to understand what kind of alternative graduation they prefer. FRCC prospective graduates are asked to check their student email for the survey.

Colorado College:

CC has asked seniors and their families for their input on what type of recognition would be meaningful to them.

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