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More than 5,200 students graduate at the Class of 2020 virtual commencement

President Bob Davies and Provost Mary Schutten stand on the stage in virtual commencement video on Nov. 21.

Over 5,200 students graduated at a virtual Central Michigan University commencement ceremony Nov. 21. 

Provost Mary Schutten said that the exact number of students graduating was 5,236. Of these students, 3,475 students earned undergraduate degrees, and 1,761 earned graduate-level degrees. She also said that 245 of the students graduating were international students, representing 36 countries.

President Bob Davies hosted a live virtual commencement kickoff on the university's Facebook and Instagram pages to start commencement day. 

During this kickoff, he gave shout outs to several students he had interacted with over the course of the semester and at the photoshoot events. Some of these students include Shonray Brooks, Matthew Fox, and Angelica Elizalde.

Throughout the kickoff, Davies emphasized that there will be an in-person commencement for the Class of 2020 at some point.

"This is not a replacement for a personal commencement ceremony," Davies said. "When we are able, we will have a commencement ceremony for the class of 2020."

The virtual commencement kickoff is posted on the university's Facebook or Instagram pages.

After the kickoff, watchers were directed to the university commencement website. On this website, graduates and their families can watch several videos including Davies' congratulatory speech to the Class of 2020.

"To say that this is a difficult year would be a tremendous understatement," Davies said in his message. "You would have been easily forgiven if you would have chosen to give up. But you did not give up."

Davies' main message to the graduates was one perseverance.

"You faced an impossible situation and chose to make it possible," Davies saod.

Trisha Keith, chair of the Board of Trustees, offered congratulations to the Class of 2020 on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

"Employers often tell us that they seek out CMU graduates because you are highly skilled, dedicated, and know how to work diligently to pursue your goals," Keith said. "For the Class of 2020, add to that, your ability to rise in the face of adversity, and your willingness to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances."

Schutten presented the candidates for graduation. After the candidates were presented, Davies conferred the degrees.

The commencement site also features various videos with congratulatory messages from faculty, and members of the graduating class of 2020, as well as the names of every student graduating in the ceremony and the degree they earned.

All the virtual commencement videos can be found on the CMU commencement website.