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UNLV plans virtual graduations due to COVID-19

Updated October 8, 2020 - 7:24 am

UNLV announced Wednesday it will hold two virtual graduation ceremonies for spring and winter 2020 graduates because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of a traditional in-person event, virtual ceremonies are planned for Dec. 15 — at 10 a.m. for spring graduates and 4 p.m. for winter graduates.

In a message to students, President Keith Whitfield and Interim Executive Vice President/Provost Chris Heavey wrote: “We understand that this news is disappointing for graduates and their families. Commencement is the most important day in the life of a university and we were looking forward to celebrating in person with you. It is a culmination of your years-long effort to reach an important milestone, an effort that we know has been made more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The manner in which we celebrate does not diminish your achievement nor its significance, and we will be cheering for you, even from a distance.”

UNLV’s graduation planning team is working hard to create “a virtual experience that honors each of our graduates and captures the spirit and energy of our traditional ceremonies,” according to the message.

Whitfield and Heavey also provided an update about the spring 2021 semester, saying they are aiming for a similar mix of remote and in-person classes as the fall semester. In-person classes will continue to be capped at 50 students.

This semester, about 80 percent of the university’s classes are being offered remotely.

Students can start searching the class schedule and adding classes to their “enrollment shopping carts” Oct. 19. Spring semester registration opens Nov. 2.

“This plan for the spring 2021 class schedule assumes that public health conditions leading up to the semester will allow for in-person instruction,” Whitfield and Heavey wrote. “Conditions at the start of the term, or that suddenly arise during the semester, may force the university to shift to remote instruction for all courses.”

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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