University Plans to Host its First-Ever Virtual Commencement Ceremonies

old commencement photo
Above is a scene from the Fall 2019 commencement ceremonies that took place on Ferris State University's Big Rapids campus. This spring, in 2020, commencement ceremonies will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ferris State University will recognize its spring Class of 2020 graduates on Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9. The university plans to host its first-ever pre-recorded virtual commencement ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In all, more than 2,000 Ferris students will graduate in May 2020, including approximately 450 expected to participate in the virtual ceremonies.

Ceremonies beginning Friday, May 8 at 3:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 9 at 9:30 a.m. will be featured via YouTube Premieres. The Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies will include pre-recorded messages and short videos, to replicate a customary graduate procession, that highlight those students who will participate in the virtual events. Commencement further includes remarks from President David Eisler, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Blake and others who will deliver messages to the Class of 2020. A greeting message from Amna Seibold, chair of the Ferris Board of Trustees, will highlight a special commencement landing page that will be made available the days of the ceremonies.

During Friday’s ceremonies, graduates from the colleges of Arts, Sciences and Education, Health Professions, and Pharmacy will be highlighted with graduates from the Doctorate in Community College Leadership and Michigan College of Optometry. Saturday’s honored graduates will be from the colleges of Business, Education and Human Services, and Engineering Technology. Also, Kendall College of Art and Design will host a virtual commencement on Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m. KCAD’s ceremony will be available for viewing via KCAD’s Facebook page.

Links for viewing and participating in Big Rapids campus ceremonies will be available at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9. Viewers who follow the virtual ceremonies will have opportunities to interact through the YouTube live chat. Conversations about commencement can be followed on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, through the hashtags #DawgsOut20 and #FerrisGrad2020.

On Thursday, Dec. 17, Ferris plans to host a special traditional-formatted commencement ceremony to honor the spring Class of 2020. This ceremony, exclusive to Spring 2020 graduates, will be hosted two days before the traditional Fall 2020 ceremonies. The number of Dec. 17 ceremonies will be contingent upon how many graduates elect to participate.

Below is more information on the Spring 2020 virtual commencement ceremonies.

Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremonies

Friday, May 8

3:30 p.m.

College of Health Professions
Michigan College of Optometry

7 p.m. 

College of Arts, Sciences and Education
College of Pharmacy
Doctorate in Community College Leadership

Saturday, May 9

9:30 a.m.

College of Engineering Technology

12:30 p.m.

College of Business

4 p.m.

College of Education and Human Services