WEST LAFAYETTE — With in-person graduation ceremonies already canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials at Purdue University are looking to try something new and personal for the Class of 2020.
This year's graduating class won't be on campus for their big day but they'll still hear their names called, watch President Mitch Daniels provide his commencement address and even listen to gleeful music.
The university on Monday announced that starting later this week on-demand commencement will be available for the 7,500-plus spring graduates to experience the joys and share it with their loved ones.
May 2020 graduates have received a special "commencement in a box" that includes a diploma cover, the commencement program, any earned honors cords and medals and some Boilermaker goodies. The box also includes information on how to download their own ceremony. Diplomas will be mailed to the graduates.
Graduates also received directions to the university's commencement 2020 website that has links and videos to numerous aspects for graduates and families to celebrate their journey. The on-demand commencement videos are organized by divisions and include special messages from the deans of Purdue's colleges.
"Many individuals and groups have come together to produce and provide this on-demand commencement," Chris Pass, senior assistant registrar for academic records, commencement and graduation, said. "We have produced a good alternative to an in-person commencement that the graduates, their families and friends will enjoy."
Each student will have their name called and receive their diploma. Graduates are encouraged to take photos of themselves and their families watching the ceremony or afterward and post to social media using the #PurdueWeDidIt hashtag.
Purdue's College of Pharmacy celebrated graduation earlier by receiving permission to graduate 142 pharmacy students on April 17 as a way to provide additional support to pharmacies during the pandemic. The students became eligible to work as graduate pharmacists until they are fully licensed.