UM-Flint is Determined to Honor Graduating Students

Ryan Lanxton, Writer

A tradition for many graduating students across the world, this year’s UM-Flint commencement ceremony will be unlike any other.

Due to health concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony originally scheduled for April 26 has tentatively been rescheduled for Sunday, August 16. 

Instead of outright canceling the optional event, UM-Flint wanted to make sure it’s graduates were being honored in the proper way.

“It’s one of the most memorable days of anyone’s life and we feel that responsibility deeply every time we put the ceremony together … it’s so important, it’s so emotional,” said Jennifer Hogan, who has been organizing every UM-Flint commencement since 2006. “It’s one of our greatest priorities that we have at the university.”

Working with partners such as Dort Federal, who are scheduled to host the event at their event center, UM-Flint arrived at the August date as it would be able to accommodate as many people as possible while also making sure the health of attendees is ensured.

Organizers have also made a special webpage for the 2020 graduates to visit where all awards and honors are listed. There are additional links to fill out alumni forms and a “meet the grads” page. Hogan said several students have helped make the website, as well.

On Sunday, April 26, the date of the original commencement, a video congratulating graduates will be sent out, featuring the University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel and UM-Flint Chancellor Deba Dutta. Congressman Dan Kildee, who was scheduled to be the commencement speaker, will also participate. 

Moving commencement will not affect any students’ ability to graduate. According to Karen Arnould, director of the Registrar’s Office, the university will place their order to mail diplomas on May 18. Barring any technical difficulties, graduates will be able to get their diplomas shortly thereafter.

UM-Flint will also be sending out e-diplomas for people to download. Usually requiring a fee to access, the university has waived the charge.

Transcripts will be unaffected and will reflect all the courses and credits the student has taken.

Because the new commencement date is tentative, changes and updates could happen and anyone interested in attending should keep an eye out for new information in their emails and on the UM-Flint graduation and commencement website.

“It’s the most important day on campus, it’s a culmination of what everyone does. For what students do for their education, what faculty do, what we as administrators do. It’s number one,” said Hogan.