Virginia Tech fall commencement will be online

Virginia Tech fall commencement will be online
Virginia Tech (Source: Virginia Tech)

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Tech will host fall commencement exercises online instead of in-person.

The December 2020 ceremony will be held online Friday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m. ET.

During an online broadcast here, graduates will be honored, degrees will be conferred, and special guests and student leaders will speak. There will also be opportunities for friends and family to participate.

Moving online will lessen the risks associated with large gatherings and help slow the spread of COVID-19, according to the university, and is in line with public health guidelines.

Virginia Tech is reporting 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students as of September 6, and three among employees, according to the campus COVID dashboard. That’s from 11,984 tests conducted since August 3, and 324 of the student positives and all three of the employee positives are from the last week.

“Our lives have certainly been different this semester, with many events postponed or moved online,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “I know this is disappointing for graduates who were hoping for an in-person experience, however everything we’ve learned about COVID-19 tells us it would not be wise to bring students back on campus for a large indoor gathering. The online ceremony will honor our graduates and celebrate their accomplishments, while keeping our students and community safe.”

Virginia Tech held its first online commencement ceremony in the spring. More than 7,000 Hokies graduated and many others watched.

The change to the fall ceremony will affect spring 2020 graduates who planned to participate in fall exercises. They will no longer have the option to participate in person in fall commencement, and earlier this month, the university announced the fall celebration planned for spring 2020 graduates would not take place because of the impact of the pandemic on events.

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