In a joint University-wide email, Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi, Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher Molloy and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom announced a University Commencement: A Virtual Celebration being held on May 31 at 2 p.m. for the University's graduating students.
Prior to this announcement, Barchi formed a commencement task force with representation from graduation planners across the University to explore the best way to celebrate the graduating students, according to an article on Rutgers Today.
"Commencement is an important milestone, especially for you, our students, but also for your family, friends and loved ones, for our faculty and our staff who work tirelessly to ensure that you succeed, for our alumni, waiting to welcome you with open arms and for the Rutgers Community as a whole," they said, according to the email. "In this time of uncertainty, celebrating your graduation is more important than ever, because it brings us together to recognize your achievements with a sense of pride and admiration, even amid social distancing."
Lester Holt, NBC News anchor and Rutgers' 2020 commencement speaker, will address the graduating class during the virtual event, according to the email. The Daily Targum previously reported that Holt will also be receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University.
Students will officially be awarded their degrees during the ceremony, according to the email. Additionally, each Rutgers school will host its own virtual celebration for the Class of 2020, according to the email. The plans for each school are different and students will be notified by the dean of their individual school.
"We remain committed to finding opportunities to bring you together in person for celebrations within your schools when feasible and safe. We know how important this is to you and your families," they said, according to the email. "Just as important, we want you to know that we take enormous pride in you right now and that we look forward to honoring your accomplishments and awarding your degrees through our virtual celebration on May 31."
Rutgers's Newark and Camden campuses will also be holding virtual events for graduating students, according to the article. Rutgers-Newark will hold a virtual Graduate Recognition Ceremony on May 20 and an in-person event at a later time. Rutgers-Camden is hosting virtual celebrations throughout May and will hold in-person commencement ceremonies in December.