A yearlong delay couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm or pride of the Class of 2020 as they celebrated their commencement on Thursday, May 13, after COVID-19 sidelined plans for in-person ceremonies in May and December 2020.
More than 1,100 graduates participated in the ceremony at UNC Charlotte, the first held in Jerry Richardson Stadium to allow for appropriate social distancing protocols. In total, 6,522 undergraduate degrees and 1,960 graduate degrees were conferred upon the Class of 2020.
“There is no doubt that this pandemic made your last few months as UNC Charlotte students more than a little challenging,” said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber, as she presided over her first commencement ceremony at the University. “Yet, you rose to the occasion as you adjusted to new routines, which included remote learning, social distancing, masks and virtual gatherings and celebrations. Through it all, you have shown true understanding and patience.”
Thursday’s ceremony included students from all seven of the University’s colleges and the graduate school. A virtual ceremony was previously held for graduates in the Class of 2020.
“It is important for me to be here participating in the commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 a year later to celebrate our accomplishments and everything we were able to overcome during our time at UNC Charlotte,” said Chandler Crean ’20, who served as the 2019-20 student body president and was selected as his ceremony’s bell ringer. “I remember back to freshman year and seeing pictures and videos of Niners walking across the stage, dreaming that one day I would have that opportunity. I think this allows individuals to be able to 'officially' close this chapter of our lives and move forward as proud alumni.”