OU Breaks 130-Year Graduation Tradition Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

Thursday, May 7th 2020, 5:15 pm

NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The University of Oklahoma will break a 130-year tradition of sending graduating students off with an in-person commencement ceremony due to COVID-19.

“Very different than anything I ever imagined for my senior year,” Destinee Dickson said.

Instead, the university will offer a virtual commencement with an address from Interim President Joe Harroz, a year in review video, and singing of the OU Chant at 7 p.m. on Friday.

“I think everything happens for a reason,” Dickson said. “But, I will say it's sad. I never thought that I would not formally walk across the stage on May 9. My entire family from Chicago was supposed to come down.”

“I definitely didn't think going into spring break that we would not be coming back,” OU senior Sam Brown said.

Nearly 10,000 degrees will be awarded to students ending their college careers in a way they had never imagined.

“I’ve just been telling them is just really how proud I am,” professor Scott Hodgson said. “They have had to have so much adaptation, and if they can adapt to this, they can adapt to anything.”

From move-in to graduation, the class of 2020 said four (or five) years seem like a blink of the eye.

“When they say it's the best four years of your life, it really is just because of the friends you make and all of the relationships you build over those four years,” Brown said.

Friends, family and students can find more information on the virtual commencement ceremony here.