MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Due to COVID-19, West Virginia University held a virtual graduation ceremony for the roughly 4,600 graduates of the class of May 2020.
The ceremony was the 150th graduation commencement ceremony and Lisa Martin, the special events coordinator senior at WVU, said by all accounts the ceremony was a success because the ceremony went on without a hitch. There were speeches from administrators, an honorary degree awarded to country singer Brad Paisley and even a rendition of Country Roads sung by WVU alumni around the country and world that included U.S. Senator Joe Manchin singing from Washington, D.C.
Martin said the event was structured to be live streamed because of safety concerns.
“Aside from the safety reason, it obviously just all transpired very quickly,” Martin said. “We had to come up with a way to celebrate our graduates in a safe way and allow them a chance to celebrate their own accomplishments and this is what we came up with.”
Graduates had the chance of submitting a 10-second video or a photo of themselves with a piece of text, according to the WVU graduation webpage. Martin said on December 19, 2020, May graduates will have an in-person ceremony in addition to the two other regular ceremonies already planned for that day.
“I just hope everybody was able to watch today,” Martin said. “If they were not able it is still available on the YouTube website as well as a link on our WVU page and our graduation webpage as well. Please watch again and share with family and friends. And congratulations to all the May 2020 graduates.”