Humphrey School News—April 27, 2020

Join us for Humphrey School Virtual Commencements this Saturday, May 16


Graduates process into the Ted Mann Concert Hall in a line for commencement 2019 ceremonies.
Humphrey School commencement 2019. Photo: Bruce Silcox

This spring’s graduates of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs aren't able to gather together for a traditional commencement ceremony to mark their academic successes, due to the coronavirus outbreak and its restrictions on public events. But the School is making plans to celebrate with them, nonetheless. 

In addition to the University-wide commencement celebration on Saturday, May 16, the Humphrey School will host virtual ceremonies for its 185 master’s and doctoral degree recipients on that same day. 

“While this is certainly not going to be the same type of commencement experience for our graduates this year, it is still vitally important for us to create space to celebrate their achievements,” Dean Laura Bloomberg says. “We are incredibly proud of the way they have risen to the challenge presented by the coronavirus pandemic, and they will be even stronger leaders in our society as a result.”

Students who have applied for graduation in the spring, summer, or fall of 2020 have been invited to participate in the systemwide “virtual” commencement being hosted by University President Joan Gabel, which will launch online on Saturday, May 16 at 11 a.m.  

The Humphrey School will hold its own “virtual” celebrations on that day; one for each specific master’s degree program. The plan was formulated with the input of students, staff, and faculty, to provide “a more intimate experience that reflects the strong connections that exist among our students,” says Associate Dean Carissa Slotterback. 

The ceremonies will begin at noon and will be hosted on the Zoom online video platform. Each ceremony will last between 30 and 75 minutes, depending on the number of graduates in the program, and a virtual “waiting room” will be open 30 minutes before each ceremony. 

Humphrey School virtual commencement schedule: Saturday, May 16

Download the program for all degree programs and certificates (PDF). (This is all programs together in one document)

Each ceremony will include:

  • Welcome and remarks by Dean Laura Bloomberg
  • Remarks from keynote speakers: St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar
  • Awards presentation by Associate Dean Carissa Slotterback
  • Celebratory video montage featuring students, faculty, and alumni
  • Presentation of degrees by the program’s faculty director of graduate studies

Complete details about this year’s virtual commencement, as well as deadlines and important dates, are here.  

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