The University of New Mexico recognizes the Class of 2020 as a very special graduating group, perhaps one of the most unique in the nation’s history. While the majority of the world paused and locked down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Class of 2020 persisted – completing the requirements to earn their degrees through virtual classrooms.
“You’ve done something incredible,” said UNM President Garnett S. Stokes in a letter to graduating students. “You and your fellow members of the Class of 2020 will long be remembered and admired for your courage, adaptability, and constant patience in the face of extraordinary circumstances.”
Part of those extraordinary circumstances included innovating ways to celebrate Lobos’ transition from students to graduates. With large gatherings banned across the state and much of the nation, UNM announced it was postponing the Spring 2020 Commencement ceremony.
After careful review of suggestions and comments from the Class of 2020, University leadership has determined that The University of New Mexico will hold a virtual celebration of the Class of 2020 on Saturday, May 30 at 9 a.m. Students will receive further details on how to participate from the University Secretary, including information on ways to personalize the experience, both online and through social media. The virtual event does not replace an in-person ceremony and members of the class of 2020 will be invited to participate in a future in-person commencement.
COVID-19 timelines continue to be unpredictable. Therefore, The University is uncertain at this time when state guidelines for the health and safety of New Mexicans will align with hosting a large in-person event. Many individual colleges are also planning their own virtual celebrations, and students should watch their inboxes for information on particular events.
“I admire the sheer determination you’ve shown to finish your degree under the most challenging of conditions, and I thank you for the courage and compassion you’ve shown even as your college experience was unexpectedly altered,” President Stokes concluded in her letter. “The Class of 2020 will always have a special place in our University’s history, and in our hearts.”