Campus Life

Texas A&M Virtually Celebrates Students Receiving Degrees

The postponement of May's commencement ceremonies hasn't stopped the university's colleges from recognizing the hard work of students.
By Lesley Henton, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications May 7, 2020

Though May commencement ceremonies are postponed due to a global pandemic, Texas A&M University will still award 10,796 degrees this month, while recognizing the achievements of these students with a variety of virtual celebrations.

a decorated graduation cap that says "For my ancestors and future generations"
Some colleges are asking students to submit photos of their decorated graduation caps for use on social media.

Sam Craft/Texas A&M Marketing & Communications

This is the first time in university history that commencement ceremonies at Texas A&M have been postponed.

Texas A&M President Michael K. Young said he would love to be able to offer his congratulations and admiration to students in person, but understands the restrictions caused by COVID-19. He said he’s delighted to see the Aggie family so strong and devoted to one another through this challenging time.

“Although circumstances do not permit us to gather together in May, it’s been heartening to see Aggies come together in so many other ways,” Young said. “Across every area of the university, throughout every school and department, we have seen a tremendous outpouring of support for these extraordinary students. By succeeding during such a challenging semester, we want all of our graduates to know that we celebrate your success, we’re proud of your achievements and we believe you have a very bright future ahead of you.”

Texas A&M Provost and Executive Vice President Carol Fierke agreed, saying she is extremely proud that students have succeeded in spite of challenges resulting from the pandemic.

“You have proven your ability to thrive even in trying times,” Fierke said. “Your academic excellence and persistence have sustained you through these trying times, showing us all what you are made of. You are inspiring.”

Until an in-person commencement can be held for the Class of 2020, the university, its colleges and branch campuses will recognize the conferral of degrees with a variety of virtual recognitions. The following are some of the recognitions being planned:

Texas A&M University
The university will recognize degree recipients with an official “Conferral of Degrees” video featuring The Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Texas A&M President Michael K. Young, Chairman of the Board of Regents Elaine Mendoza, Provost and Executive Vice President Carol Fierke and outgoing Student Body President Mikey Jaillet ’20. In addition, a new website has been created with social media graphics available for graduates to download, a collection of student-posted content and special videos.

Beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 8, the names of all of the degree recipients will appear on the video board at Kyle Field. The display will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube.

Bush School of Government and Public Service
In lieu of its annual in-person reception for graduates, the Bush School will have a celebratory program on Zoom which will include addresses by the dean and other school leaders, calling of degree recipient names, a student class speaker and awards presentations.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
College leadership and advisors will congratulate degree recipients via a video that will be distributed and posted on the college website. The college will also have a series of “20 for ’20” messages posted – messages of 20 words or more for the graduates of 2020. The website will also house links to each departments’ celebration within the college.

College of Architecture
A recorded message from the dean and other college leaders will be shared with degree recipients and the college’s four departments are hosting celebratory events including live and recorded remarks from the department heads and select students, faculty and staff. Several departments are hosting virtual receptions to provide an opportunity for students and their families to visit with classmates and faculty. The college’s new gonfalon design, which was to premiere at the May graduation in Reed Arena, will be introduced in a short video. View the celebratory posts on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Mays Business School
Mays will post a congratulatory video message featuring the dean, department heads and Dean’s Advisory Board members. The video will be released on Mays LinkedIn Page and posted on the school’s website. The dean will record an individual congratulatory message to 2020 graduates, which will be available to view on the @MaysBusiness Instagram page and posted on the school’s website.

College of Education & Human Development
Students receiving degrees from the College of Education & Human Development are encouraged to decorate their cap for the college’s Instagram story. Congratulatory videos will be emailed to students and shared on the college’s social channels. The emails will also contain graphics and activities for the students to share on Instagram and Twitter.

College of Engineering
Engineering degree recipients from each department will be recognized with videos premiering on YouTube May 8-9, during an assigned time, by alphabetical order. Once premiered on YouTube, the videos will remain viewable post-event. Visit the college site for more information.

College of Geosciences
Geosciences will host a reception via Zoom to invitees on May 7 at 3 p.m. Individual departments within the college will celebrate their degree recipients on Zoom at 4 p.m.

College of Liberal Arts
Beginning May 8, social media channels from Liberal Arts will include photos, videos and quotes submitted by students, along with celebration video messages from college leadership. These will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

College of Medicine
The College of Medicine Graduate and Professional Program Conferral of Degrees and Military Commissioning Ceremony will be viewable via livestream on May 16. Remarks will be provided by college leaders and presenters will call the names of degree recipients. For more information and to submit photos for use on social media, visit the college website.

College of Nursing
The College of Nursing has transitioned its face-to-face recognition ceremony historically held the morning prior to commencement to a virtual ceremony with the same program elements. The virtual event will feature an introduction by the dean, messages from class representatives, reading of the graduates’ names and student awards, and reciting of the nursing pledge. Individual slides with a photo submitted by students that includes their name and either place of employment or current town will display on screen while their name is read. The event will premiere on YouTube on May 8 at 9:30 a.m. and will be available for replay once concluded. More information is available on the college Facebook page.

College of Science
On May 8, each of the five departments will recognize its degree recipients with virtual events including remarks by university and college leadership, honors and awards, and for some, the reading of graduate names. Participants have received invitations.

College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
This month marks the 100th class of Aggie veterinarians. A virtual celebration will feature a Zoom video which will reproduce some of the “pomp and circumstance” of traditional commencement, college officials said. DVM candidates are asked to wear their regalia because the event will go live at one point, allowing every member of the class to recite the Veterinarian’s Oath together. The ceremony occurred May 6 and may be viewed on Facebook.

Academic Success Center and Undergraduate Studies
These units are working together to honor their student workers who are receiving degrees with a yearbook-style web page.

School of Law
The School of Law will host its degree recipients May 8 on Zoom for a celebration which will include remarks from school leaders and faculty, the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, the President of the State Bar, and a well-known television personality whose identity is being kept under wraps. The school also has plans to launch an online yearbook mid-May with graduate profiles and photos.

School of Public Health
The school has invited students to its Recognition and Awards Dinner, a virtual event on the evening of May 7. A celebratory video and messages from faculty and staff will appear on the Public Health graduation page. Degree recipients are invited to share photos on Twitter May 8 using #12thForHealth.

Texas A&M Galveston Campus
Sea Aggies will participate in a virtual ceremony streaming on Facebook at 9 a.m. on May 9.
The event will feature remarks by campus leadership and the conferral of degrees.

Texas A&M at Qatar
A graduation recognition ceremony for Qatar students will be held on Zoom and streamed on Facebook on May 7 at 8 p.m. AST. The event will feature remarks from campus leadership, a student speaker and the conferral of degrees. More information is available on the Qatar website.

The Corps of Cadets
On Friday, May 8, each of the 3 ROTCs (Army, Naval and Air Force) will conduct individual commissioning ceremonies. The ceremonies will be livestreamed or in person and are by invitation only. Separately, a video posted to the Corps social channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) on Friday afternoon will feature remarks from the Commandant and highlight each cadet that commissioned.

Media contact: Lesley Henton,

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