Graceland University will host a virtual commencement for Fall 2020 graduates Saturday, Dec. 19, at 11 a.m. central time. The prerecorded video compilation will be shared with graduates and their friends and family as a premier on social media sharing platforms.
Graceland’s fall commencement ceremony would usually take place at the Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence, Missouri, where one of the university’s campuses is located. However, due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was determined that a virtual ceremony would be the only way to provide a safe commencement experience at this time.
Students who were scheduled to participate in the Spring or Fall 2020 commencement ceremonies have been invited to return and walk across the stage at one of the next two in-person commencement exercises hosted by Graceland.
Three speakers will honor the Fall 2020 graduates in the virtual ceremony: Montel Evans, MEd, who serves as an adjunct professor in the Edmund J. Gleazer School of Education; Kathleen Lenz, DNP, assistant clinical professor in the School of Nursing; and Tony Chvala-Smith, PhD, assistant professor of theology and scripture in the Community of Christ Seminary.
As is the case at every Graceland commencement, one member of Graceland’s faculty will be presented with the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching by the alumni board president. Student voting determines the finalists for this prestigious honor, and the final decision is made by a committee of students and faculty. The winner receives a framed certificate, an apple award and $1,000 for professional development.
Graceland degrees will be conferred upon graduates earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees through Graceland’s Lamoni, Iowa, and Independence, Missouri, campuses, and through the university’s online programs as well. Each graduate will be individually honored with a photo (if submitted by the graduate) and recognition of their achievement.
The ceremony will be available for anyone to watch as a premiere video on the Graceland University Facebook page and YouTube channel at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19. It will also remain viewable on those platforms after it premieres that day.
This will be the second virtual commencement presented by Graceland. Spring 2020 graduates were honored in a video premier Oct. 3 after the rescheduled in-person ceremony was cancelled due to COVID-19.