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Marian University prepares for its first "virtual" commencement

1,000 students graduate without being on campus
Marian University.PNG
Posted at 9:51 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 21:55:03-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Just over 1,000 members of the Marian University Class of 2020 will take part in commencement Saturday, without setting foot on the west side Indianapolis campus.

Colleges across the state and country have be forced to come up with alternatives to the traditional graduation ceremony since closing their campuses in March in response to the growing COVID-19 threat.

Marian is going the virtual route. 1,061 degrees will be awarded at the ceremony which can been be seen on a live stream. It's Marian's 83rd commencement.

It's actually two ceremonies. One for undergrads and another for graduate students and those from the school's College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“While we are disappointed that we won’t be able to come together on campus, we did not want to miss the opportunity to mark this accomplishment and celebrate our graduates,” Marian University President Daniel Elsener said. “And we are exploring additional ways to celebrate our 2020 graduates in person, when we can gather safely on campus this fall.”

The virtual ceremonies will include all the pomp and circumstance of a live commencement, including student speakers, commencement speakers, and the reading of graduates’ names.

Most of the ceremonies were recorded on campus in the Marian University Theatre. A small portion was recorded remotely using video conferencing technology, including an invocation from Archbishop Charles Thompson from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

The undergraduate ceremony will stream at noon; the ceremony for graduate and medical students will stream at 3 p.m. A Commencement Mass will stream at 11 a.m. All are accessible to the public at

The weather won't matter this year, but for the record, it's supposed to be a warm day with just a slight chance of rain.