UND to hold virtual commencement ceremony

UND graduates celebrate at the end of summer commencement at the Chester Fritz Auditorium on Friday, Aug. 2. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

UND students will be able to participate in a virtual commencement ceremony, after spring and summer commencement ceremonies were canceled recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university announced earlier this week.

Three virtual ceremonies will be posted online May 16, including one for general commencement for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, one for the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences commencement, as well as one for the UND School of Law commencement.

The ceremonies will each include video remarks from interim President Joshua Wynne and other administrators, as well as a commencement slide for each student, which will include name, degree, major, a recording of their name and a submitted photo. Students have been asked to submit photos by Wednesday, April 29. The virtual ceremonies will go live on Saturday, May 16.

Faculty are asked to encourage students to take part and to watch the ceremonies, the university said on its University Letter blog.

Additionally, students will later be mailed a graduation packet with a diploma, diploma folder, printed program, honor medallion, if appropriate, and commencement mementos, said Meloney Linder, vice president for marketing and communications.


“We're kind of excited to find a way to continue to celebrate (commencement) because it's a big achievement, and we know people didn't want to feel like they were missing it,” Linder said.

Spring and summer graduates also will be able to participate in a typical ceremony at a later time, if they so wish.

UND is finishing the spring semester online this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It also has decided to move summer classes to remote instruction. How this will affect the upcoming fall semester is not known at this time, but university officials have said they are planning for various scenarios that could unfold over the next several weeks and months.

Sydney Mook has been the managing editor at the Herald since April 2021. In her role she edits and assigns stories and helps reporters develop their work for readers.

Mook has been with the Herald since May 2018 and was first hired as the Herald's higher education reporter where she covered UND and other happenings in state higher education. She was later promoted to community editor in 2019.

For story pitches contact her at or call her at 701-780-1134.
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