Rescheduled spring commencement planned at Joan C. Edwards Stadium

Marshall University is planning its rescheduled spring commencement ceremony for May 2020 graduates at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

A total of 1,597 students graduated with degrees in May 2020 with 524 students graduating with honors. Although university officials do not anticipate all graduates will attend the ceremony, the outdoor stadium location should allow the university to follow public health guidelines and honor the 2020 graduates in a safe way, according to Dr. Sonja Cantrell-Johnson, university registrar.

"We are working closely with our Office of Environmental Health and Safety to ensure we provide our graduates with as close to a traditional commencement ceremony as possible," Cantrell-Johnson said. "We’ve made several changes to the event to provide a safe environment for those who wish to attend."

Some of the changes include:

  • All attendees will be required to wear masks;
  • Social distancing protocols will be in place with faculty representatives assigned to place graduates at least six feet apart;
  • To minimize the number of attendees, graduates will receive four guest tickets for family members or friends who wish to attend. More details are forthcoming as to when these will be available. Graduates will not need tickets to access the stadium.

The ceremony is scheduled to have an abbreviated program with Jennifer Wells, executive director of Our Future West Virginia, serving as the commencement keynote speaker. An honorary degree will be given to Robert "Bob" Simpson, former interim dean of the Lewis College of Business. Passes for media will be available the week of the event.

Circumstances surrounding the pandemic could result in changes to the rescheduled commencement ceremony. Spring 2020 graduates are encouraged to monitor their official Marshall e-mail accounts or for more details later this summer.