UMKC Sets Virtual Commencement for December 19

Dramatic ‘Light Up the Night’ Salute to return

The University of Missouri-Kansas City will conduct a virtual commencement December 19 to honor students earning degrees from the Kansas City metro’s only public research university.

The ceremony will be similar to the university’s first-ever virtual commencement in May. Again, students will receive celebratory packets that will include honor cords, a traditional Roo pin and other surprises. UMKC is again working with friends and supporters across Kansas City to celebrate our Fall semester graduates with another spectacular “Light Up the Night” salute, with iconic Kansas City buildings lit up in vivid Roo blue and gold.

“Earning a degree from an accredited research university such as ours is a true achievement, one worthy of celebration,” said Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D. “In these times, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our celebrations must be planned with care. The health and safety of our graduates and their loved ones must remain our highest priority.”

In addition to going virtual in December, UMKC announced that it still intends to have an in-person commencement for May and December 2020 grads at some future date – but will postpone setting a date until health and safety conditions permit. Earlier in the year, UMKC had hoped to hold that in-person celebration in December.

In a letter to campus, Chancellor Agrawal and Provost Jenny Lundgren said: “Clearly, we do not know when large events will be safe again and cannot realistically set a date at this time.”

But they noted that they “firmly believe that every UMKC graduate should have the opportunity to be personally recognized for the degree they’ve worked so hard to earn in the presence of their loved ones and closest friends and fellow graduates.”

UMKC leaders worked with students to plan the virtual ceremony last spring and consulted with them again on the decision to stay virtual this fall while continuing to plan for an in-person ceremony once it is safe to hold one.

"I support the decision to take December commencement virtual, and I'm looking forward to sending off our UMKC Roos with a meaningful and safe celebration online,” said Brandon Henderson, president of the UMKC Student Government Association. “This decision will undoubtedly leave some students disappointed, but our first priority must always be student safety. This is an extraordinary moment we're living in, and we have to muster the courage to make tough decisions like this if we're going to beat this virus for good."

Published: Oct 12, 2020

Top Stories