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Purdue to hold spring commencement 'on-demand'

Purdue President Mitch Daniels during the 2018 Spring Commencement

Students will still hear their names called, hold diplomas in their hands, wear a cap and gown, and hear the address by President Mitch Daniels.

Posted: Mar 26, 2020 11:07 AM
Updated: Mar 26, 2020 11:22 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Just nine days after Purdue announced it would cancel its spring 2020 commencement exercises, the university is rolling out a plan for graduates to still experience the ceremonies "on demand." 

Purdue President Mitch Daniels announced Thursday morning that graduates will be able to go through the commencement experience online. Students will hear their names called, hold diplomas in their hands, wear a cap and gown, and hear the address by Daniels. Purdue Bands and Purdue Musical Organizations will also perform, just like a typical ceremony.

“Purdue is known for the most personal and memorable commencement of any large university. If we can’t put on the nation’s best traditional ceremony, then we’ll produce the best remote one,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. “We promise to continue to do this the Purdue way: Students will still receive their own diploma, each name will be called individually, and participants will hear from our excellent student musicians and speakers. It’s a huge disappointment to us all that we can’t do this in person, but with input from a creative group of graduating seniors, we will do the best we can to preserve the essence of this special occasion.”

Before May 15, graduates will be mailed a diploma cover, commencement program and honor cords as earned. The students will be sent information on how to download the ceremony. It will not be live.

The deadline for students to rent or purchase a cap and gown has been extended to April 22, and shipping fees will not be charged to the graduates. Virtual photo backgrounds and filters will also be available for grads to take pictures with. 

“We are still gathering ideas, and we’ll have even more details to share soon. In the meantime, we want you to know how important this is to us, how deeply we share in your disappointment that the usual ceremony can’t go on as planned and how hard we’re working to create a meaningful, memorable experience,” said Purdue registrar Keith Gehres.

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