Minnesota State University, Mankato, celebrated its 2021 spring semester student commencement by providing graduates “commencement-in-a-box” packages and personalized photo opportunities on a graduation stage while holding a virtual ceremony and launching a special website beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 8.
Mesa resident Erin Connors received a bachelor of science degree in communication disorders.
The three traditional commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 8 were canceled because of the COVID-10 pandemic. However, graduates were invited to take part in a “graduate walk,” an in-person professional photo opportunity on campus May 3-5 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom to celebrate with their guests, according to a release.
“We’re disappointed that we are not able to hold in-person commencement ceremonies again this spring,” Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport said in the release. “We remain dedicated to keeping our campus and community safe during the pandemic. But we are celebrating our graduates and their accomplishments throughout the week. The ‘grad walks’ allow students to wear their graduation regalia, walk across a stage and have a professional photo taken with their family and friends. A special virtual ceremony will be held Saturday, and we invite all of our graduates back to participate in an in-person commencement ceremony in the future.”
The “commencement-in-a-box” packages were presented to graduates after their “graduate walk” or were shipped to graduates. Included inside the purple-and-gold branded boxes were a diploma cover, two commencement programs, small branded gifts for the graduates and a personalized note from Mr. Davenport.
The university launched its virtual graduation website, mankato.mnsu.edu/mavgrad, May 8. The website includes videos from Mr. Davenport and commencement speeches from graduating seniors representing each of the university’s six colleges. The website includes the names of each graduate and a graduation photo gallery where photos will be shared that graduates, faculty and staff tag with #MavGrad2021.
Pre-recorded student commencement speeches were delivered by Lydia Prior, Sioux City, Iowa, College of Arts and Humanities; Jacqueline Asplund, Jonkoping, Sweden, College of Science, Engineering and Technology; Riya Arora, Delhi, India, College of Allied Health and Nursing; Laki Omar, Chaska, Minnesota, College of Education; Kwadwo Owusu, Shakopee, Minnesota, College of Business; and Marilyn Allen, Flandreau, South Dakota, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Minnesota State Mankato awarded more than 2,200 degrees at the end of spring semester. Included were more than 1,870 undergraduate degrees and more than 370 graduate degrees and specialist certifications.