RSU to host virtual commencement ceremony for 2020 graduates

Graduates of the 2020 class at Rogers State University will participate in a virtual commencement ceremony. RSU’s 108th celebration will be held online via StageClip on Saturday, May 16, at 1 p.m. CST due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 600 graduates with be awarded with their associate, baccalaureate or master’s degrees. Since 2000, the university has awarded more than 9,200 diplomas.

“Our esteemed graduates will not be physically walking across the stage on Saturday, but we will still honor their achievements through this virtual ceremony. We look forward to the time when we can come together and recognize each graduate in person,” President Dr. Larry Rice said.

The virtual celebration will include as many elements of a live ceremony as possible. Safely replacing the walk and handshake photo with the president will be individual slides and video clips submitted by the graduates using StageClips’ Snapchat feature. Dr. Hugh Foley, fine arts professor and voice of RSU, will be reading graduate names as their slides are shown.

“We are very proud of our class of 2020. Commencement marks a significant milestone in the lives of our graduates, and this class has shown remarkable resilience. We want to honor our graduates in every way possible,” Dr. Richard Beck, vice president for academic affairs, said.

The ceremony will honor retiring faculty and staff Dr. Sue Katz-Amburn, professor of biology, and Mark Meadors, the assistant vice president for business affairs, and an in memoriam for faculty member Cathy Coomer.

This year’s commencement speaker is Natalie Shirley, the president and CEO of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and member of the OU Board of Regents. She has demonstrated a distinguished career in leadership and advocacy in education throughout Oklahoma.

“We are committed to an in-person commencement celebration when city, state, and federal public health guidelines allow. Possible dates and activities for an in-person ceremony are currently being explored, and details will be forthcoming as more information about the spread of COVID0-19 becomes known,” Beck said.

The virtual commencement link will be live on the RSU website the morning of the ceremony. A program will also be provided to accompany the ceremony. StageClips will be immediately available for students to download to their mobile devices and share instantly on social media at the end of the program.

For more information regarding the virtual delivery of the commencement address, please visit www.rsu.edu/commencement.

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