University of Georgia sets October graduation date

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The University of Georgia announced today it will move its postponed May graduation to Friday, Oct. 16, at Sanford Stadium at 6:30 p.m.

Other public colleges still rescheduling  ceremonies postponed due to pandemic

This fall will feature both gridiron and graduation celebrations in Athens. The University of Georgia announced today it will move its postponed May graduation to Friday, Oct. 16, at Sanford Stadium at 6:30 p.m.

UGA’s undergraduate graduation was originally scheduled for May 8, but was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic that already shuttered the campus and moved classes online.

“While the current pandemic has unfortunately led to a cancellation of May graduation ceremonies across the nation, including the University of Georgia’s, your achievements are in no way diminished by this necessary action,” said UGA President Jere Morehead in a message to seniors.

UGA graduate students will receive their diplomas on Friday, Dec 18, during the traditional fall 2020 ceremony at Stegeman Coliseum. Morehead said the graduation events will occur only if “it is deemed safe to do so at that time by the CDC and state health officials.”

“Overarching all logistical considerations, however, is the still uncertain progress of this terrible pandemic. I trust that you and your classmates, whose love for the University of Georgia is unmatched, will return in force to Athens when the time is safe to do so,” he said.

On May 8, UGA will issue congratulatory online messages to acknowledge the degrees earned by its graduates; many colleges are planning to recognize their graduates in virtual events during May that family and friends can watch online.

Nearly 24,000 people signed a Change.org petition pleading with Morehead to reschedule so 2020 UGA grads would have a ceremony.

The petition asked:

If we cannot have our commencement ceremony on May 8th, could we potentially have it a few months later? Once the threat of COVID-19 has calmed down and the world isn't so on-edge. Over 327,000 living alumni have sat together, with their graduating classes, to celebrate one another and see those fireworks as a symbol of their accomplishments. We want that experience, too. Please, if there is any way you can help us, let us graduate the right way… The Georgia Way. Thank you.

While Georgia Tech will recognize its spring 2020 graduates with an online celebration on Friday, May 1, no date has been set for an in-person ceremony on campus.

In virtual townhall meetings this week, Tech leaders said the target timeframe was the end of the summer semester. However, if that was not possible, the end of fall semester would be considered for the in-person ceremony.