On Friday morning, Montana's Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian announced large-scale, in-person university-wide commencement ceremonies are canceled for schools in the Montana University System due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Montana State University President Waded Cruzado announced in a Friday letter to the MSU Community alternative plans to honor future graduates.
"We know that the transformation has occurred, even if, for the time being, we cannot celebrate together," Cruzado wrote. "Because Montana State University's graduation is predicated on the conviction that the best days are still ahead of us, we want to ensure that we commemorate the Class of 2020 (the largest class in the history of Montana State University!) in very special ways."
Cruzado said further details would be sent to directly to the members of the MSU Spring Class of 2020 and announced the following initial plans:
- Every graduating student of the MSU Spring Class of 2020 will receive a personalized invitation to join us for the MSU Winter 2020 Commencement ceremony, to be celebrated on Saturday, December 19, 2020, at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. In honor of our graduating students, we will hold two ceremonies, observing the same schedule that we had scheduled for the month of May. We will have the pomp and circumstance that such an occassion warrants and, of course, names of the MSU Spring Class of 2020 will appear in the printed program. It will be an outstanding celebration and we want you to be part of it!
- Every graduating student of the MSU Spring Class of 2020 will receive a personalized invitation from their respective dean for a fabulous Virtual MSU College Celebration, to be held remotely the second week of May. This will be a unique celebration in which each of our graduating students will join their peers, faculty members and staff in a special way. Please stay tuned for more details on these ceremonies. A full schedule of celebration events will soon be available at this link.
- Every graduating student of the MSU Spring Class of 2020 will receive a celebratory MSU Spring 2020 Commencement in a Box. This wonderful treasure chest will include the MSU diploma cover, a unique Blue-and-Gold tassel exclusively designed for the members of this class, MSU balloons for graduates' own "balloon drop" moment, and other surprises. In culmination, just like every MSU graduate in the past, MSU Spring Class of 2020 graduates will also proudly receive their diploma in a separate mailing.
"We are Bobcats. We know how to power through adversity to moments of precious opportunity. We know that, in the end, what matters the most -- the only things that really matter -- is our people, our families and our profound sense of community," wrote Cruzado.