USF celebrates its 500+ graduates in new ways

May 7, 2020

Commencement plans at high schools and universities nationwide have been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, but rather than simply cancel, the University of Sioux Falls aims to make the milestone just a little more engaging for its largest-ever graduating class with the help of technology and the U.S. Postal Service.

Today, the University of Sioux Falls mailed graduation boxes to each of its 503 graduates. Each graduation box contains a graduation program, diploma cover, and in USF tradition, a purple towel representing the commission to serve others that comes with the responsibility of an education. The authentic diploma will be sent as usual this summer after verification that graduation requirements have been met. All students who had planned to participate in the university’s commencement ceremony will receive their cap, gown and tassel, and additionally graduate students will receive their hood.

“These packages will allow graduates to salvage a small portion of normalcy to celebrate the ending of this chapter at USF,” said Emily Wieczorek, USF Student Body President and a graduate. “To be able to wear the cap, gown, and tassel we have worked so hard for on the day we have been looking forward to for a long time will be meaningful. The photos and memories of these celebrations, virtual and physical, will document a time we will never forget.” 

A short virtual commencement recognition video will be released in place of each ceremony typically held in front of a full house at the Washington Pavilion. They will be released as a Facebook Watch party and on YouTube on Sunday, May 17:

  • 10 a.m. Graduate
  • 11 a.m. Undergraduate

All graduates are encouraged to dress up in their regalia for the watch party and celebrate virtually with their friends, family and fellow graduates. Graduates are also asked to submit their photos in regalia to USF for another short video compilation to come after graduation day. (HERE)

“We recognize how disappointing it is for our graduates that they will not have the traditional commencement and sendoffs that typically come with this time of year,” said Dr. Joy Lind, vice president for academic affairs at USF. “However, this does not diminish the sense of pride we have in our graduates for the accomplishment of completing their degrees.”

Several weeks ago USF also turned its tradition of it Spirit of Excellence Awards virtual to celebrate community values of academic excellence and Culture for Service.

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:5

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