Spring graduates can participate in fall commencement ceremonies

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Spring 2020 graduates can now participate in the fall 2020 ceremonies. (Rowan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

On Friday, Provost Charles Taber announced that the spring 2020 graduates will be allowed to take part in the fall 2020 commencement ceremony.

This decision was made after the spring 2020 graduation ceremonies were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The decision to postpone commencement was not one that anyone took lightly. Commencement is both a beginning and an end for our graduates, their families, and the university community,” Taber said in the announcement. “Graduates deserve to have a celebration of their achievements and a worthy send-off into the next phase of their life.”

With this in mind, Taber said that a group of representatives from all academic colleges, students and others met to develop a way to allow graduating seniors the chance to celebrate.

“Their recommendation was supplemented by student testimonials and endorsed by college deans,” he said.

Sadie Polson, Student Governing Association chief of staff and senior in marketing, was able to call into one of the meetings.

“I don’t think this is the alternative students were looking for, but I do understand that the idea of adding in the May graduates with the December graduates was definitely something on the table,” Polson said.

She said that from reaching out to graduating seniors, an overwhelming idea was to have commencement in August, as this would give a feeling of a separate graduation from the one in December.

Polson already had students express to her this morning that coming to a December commencement will not be feasible, and she said they’re feeling the disappointment of getting it canceled again.

“I know a really big concern is for students who have jobs or will be attending grad school outside of the state,” Polson said. “They won’t be able to come back in December as they would’ve in August.”

From the meeting, however, Polson noted that there is a lot more that goes into commencement ceremonies than she or passionate seniors realize.

“Although I know there will be a lot of feelings of disappointment across the student population, I know that there’s a lot more that goes into commencement ceremonies than what students know about,” Polson said. “I do trust that decisions were made for the betterment of everyone.”

Taber said commencement at Kansas State is known for being memorable.

“We are committed to providing each student an on-stage moment of honor, something that is not common for an institution of our size,” Taber said. “We are very proud of our students and there are many experiences that make their time at K-State special, including celebrating graduation together with classmates, family, friends, faculty and other supporters.”

More information will be posted in the coming weeks on the commencement website.

“Good luck and best wishes to our May graduates as they complete their studies this spring,” Taber said.

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I'm Pete Loganbill and I'm the News Editor for the Collegian and host of the Collegian Kultivate podcast! I spent two years at Johnson County Community College, and I am now a senior in Public Relations at K-State. I believe constant communication leads to progress, no matter how difficult a comment may be for me or anyone to hear. Contact me at ploganbill@kstatecollegian.com.