Will summer 2020 commencement be held in person?
In consideration of the ongoing nature and uncertain future of the coronavirus pandemic, Penn State has not yet made a decision on the status of the summer commencement ceremony. As was announced on April 15, the University is planning to deliver all courses and programming virtually through summer session II, however, the University is also preparing in case health dynamics shift and students could safely return to campuses for in-person instruction. A decision on holding an on-schedule, in-person summer commencement ceremony will be made based on guidance from government and health authorities, and in the best interest of the health and safety of graduates, their families, employees and our local communities.
Are all campus events, activities and summer camps canceled or postponed? (UPDATED 5/14)
In consideration of the ongoing nature and uncertain future of the coronavirus pandemic, Penn State is canceling, postponing or moving to a virtual format all events on its campuses through at least June 30. This applies to all nonessential events, meetings, summer camps, youth programs and gatherings of all kinds on all Penn State campuses. Some individual event organizers may determine at this point that they will be canceling, postponing or holding virtually events after June 30. Individuals with questions about events, meetings, summer camps, youth programs and other gatherings taking place after June 30 should contact the event organizer to determine the status of the event.
If I have questions about commencement, who should I contact?
Will I receive my diploma?
Yes. Your diploma will be mailed to the diploma address (if applicable) or permanent address set in LionPATH after all degree requirements are met.
I heard that as graduates, we can walk in the fall ceremony? Is that true?
Under normal circumstances and on a case-by-case basis, graduates in the past have been granted the ability to participate at ceremonies other than the one designated. However, with 14,000 students expected to graduate in May 2020, due to the logistics Penn State does not have the ability to combine graduations. Also, in addition to graduates, May ceremonies usually attract more than 100,000 people to University Park alone. Increasing the number of students receiving their degrees at any one time and increasing the expected audience size makes it unrealistic to consider combining ceremonies.
My family would really like to see me walk across stage at a real commencement ceremony and get my degree. When is this going to happen?
Penn State is committed to holding an in-person celebration for the Class of 2020 when health guidelines permit and the well-being of students and families is no longer in jeopardy due to COVID-19. We are exploring potential dates, logistics and activities for this recognition of nearly 14,000 graduates at all levels in the Class of 2020. We will continue to plan, with contingencies in place, given the uncertain nature of the pandemic.
Commencement marks a milestone in the life of students and it is certainly a time for joy and celebration. We would not want to miss this opportunity, as Penn State is an institution defined by its community.