For students who graduated in spring 2020, it’s safe to say that the semester ended on a disappointing note. After four, five, or more years of working toward degrees, graduates didn’t have the opportunity to walk across the stage or celebrate with their peers. Although campuses tried to make the best of the situation, virtual “ceremonies” simply couldn’t replace the in-person experiences that students missed out on.
Since then, a number of colleges and universities have tried to make this up to students by inviting “quarantine” graduates back to campus. In addition to honoring the class of 2022, some schools are having (or have just had) graduates from 2020 and 2021 return to campus for commencement ceremonies. Some of these schools include:
- The University of Oregon
- The University of Maryland, Global Campus
- Loyola University Chicago
- Antelope Valley College
- Cape Cod Community College
- Carnegie Mellon University
- American University
- New York University
- The University of Alaska Anchorage
- The University of Maine
- Harvard Business School
Other schools are hosting “make-up” ceremonies for the class of 2020 alone, since in-person or hybrid graduations were held for 2021 graduates last year. Some of these schools include:
Make-up commencements took place last year, as well. In North Carolina, several UNC system schools held May 2021 graduation ceremonies for 2020 graduates, including:
- UNC-Chapel Hill
- North Carolina State University
- East Carolina University
- NC A&T State University
- Fayetteville State University
- North Carolina Central University
- Winston-Salem State University
Whether these efforts produce happy alumni (and future donors) remains to be seen.
Shannon Watkins is the research associate at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.