UB to welcome 2020 grads to campus Oct. 1 for commencement

Two UB grads from the Class of 2020 toss their graduation caps in celebration.

After celebrating at their University Heights home, 2020 graduates Alexa Federice (left) and Jaycee Miller headed to Abbott Hall for their cap toss photo. Photo: Douglas Levere

Release Date: July 30, 2021

Portrait of UB President Satish K. Tripathi.
“For our part, UB will remember this historic class for demonstrating exceptional innovation, resilience and adaptability during exceptionally trying times. ”
Satish K. Tripathi, president
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo is making good on its promise to recognize members of the Class of 2020, whose commencement ceremonies were disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UB President Satish K. Tripathi announced that the university will hold an in-person commencement celebration to honor the Class of 2020 during Homecoming Weekend.

On Oct. 1, UB will hold two ceremonies for the 2020 graduates: one for undergraduates and another for graduate-degree recipients.

“As we celebrate our university’s 175th anniversary, I am delighted to welcome our 2020 graduates back to campus to recognize their significant academic milestone,” Tripathi said.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic required us to hold our 2020 commencement exercises in a virtual format, we are thrilled to now have this opportunity to safely honor our 2020 graduates in a manner befitting their accomplishments — at UB, in their regalia, walking the stage and sharing in this happy occasion with family, friends and classmates.”

The undergraduate ceremony will start at 10 a.m., while the graduate ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Both will be held inside Alumni Arena and will be ticketed for guests. Each graduate will be allotted two tickets. Additional tickets may be available based on participation once registration closes. Both programs also will be livestreamed.

Graduates will receive an invitation to commencement from their respective school or college, with information about how to register.

In spring 2020, Tripathi noted, UB promised to bring graduates back to campus to celebrate commencement when it was safe to do so. “Now that it is feasible, we hope as many graduates as possible can join us for this eventful celebration,” he said.

The ceremonies will follow the university’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, and unvaccinated individuals will be required to wear a mask.

Ceremonies will not be school-specific. Instead, all units will be combined. However, members of the Class of 2020 will be pre-seated according to their school or college.

Tripathi and A. Scott Weber, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, will deliver the welcome and opening remarks. Each school’s dean will give brief remarks before graduates begin crossing the stage.

Tripathi acknowledged how disappointing it was for 2020 UB graduates to be unable to participate in commencement exercises in person last year.

“History will always remember the Class of 2020 for graduating at the height of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic,” he said. “For our part, UB will remember this historic class for demonstrating exceptional innovation, resilience and adaptability during exceptionally trying times.”

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