Truman State University’s fall commencement is Saturday, Nov. 21, with the event being modified for COVID-19.
At the start of the fall semester, commencement was planned for Dec. 12, but has since been moved to Nov. 21. The final day of in-person classes for the fall 2020 semester is Nov. 24.
The commencement will be split into two smaller ceremonies in Pershing Arena. All graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree will be honored at a 10 a.m. ceremony. All graduates with a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and masters degrees will be honored at a 1:30 p.m. ceremony.
All of the graduate candidates are required to wear a mask and practice social distancing at the ceremony. No guests are allowed at the event, but it will be livestreamed on Truman’s YouTube and Facebook page.
Janet Gooch, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, said commencement will be different this year because of the lack of guests. The ceremony is usually attended by friends and family of the graduates, members of the Alumni Association Board, color guard and the brass quintet. The platform party will only be six people this year, the quintet and soloist will have pre-recorded pieces and the color guard will not participate at the events.
“The pandemic has limited that number of people that can be present during the event, however we are still able to offer an in-person experience for students which I think they will enjoy,” Gooch said.
Registrar Nancy Asher said the University is taking many steps to ensure a safe ceremony for everyone involved. She said the arena is being sanitized between the ceremonies. Graduation materials were distributed prior to the event so all graduates could get the required materials in a socially distanced manner.
Asher said she believes commencement will remain a quality event for all parents and students involved. She said she wishes parents could be present, but the University is offering the virtual options for viewing.
“We have considered every aspect of the ceremony and have tried to set up an
event that a Truman graduate can be excited to participate in and be proud of,” Asher said.
Senior Anna Hess said she is proud of how Truman is handling commencement this year. She said she thought there was not going to be a ceremony at all this year. The COVID precautions in place give her peace of mind that the event is as safe as possible. Hess planned on participating in commencement this semester regardless of the COVID-19 precautions.
Hess said she is disappointed that her family won’t be able to attend the ceremony, but she has accepted it.
“I’m fortunate to have my Truman friends, who have become a form of family, graduating with me or at least in the Kirksville area,” Hess said. “My family across multiple states will be able to view the ceremony online, and I’ll be able to celebrate with my family just a few short days afterwards.”