Message from the Chancellor: Update on in-person ceremony for May 2020 graduates

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Dear UNC Charlotte Class of 2020 and Families,

We hope you enjoyed the special commencement messages, commemorative program and video created to recognize and celebrate your UNC Charlotte accomplishments.

I am writing to you today because we promised an update by the end of this month on our decision to conduct an in-person ceremony for May 2020 graduates in either August or December this year.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, UNC Charlotte’s priority remains preserving and protecting the health and safety of our Niner family. Based on public health guidance, we have decided to move the start of the fall semester from August 24 to September 7 to allow more time between the projected peak of the virus in Mecklenburg County and the start of the academic year.

This decision, based on the uncertainty surrounding the timing of the state’s reopening guidelines and limitations around large gatherings, means that we will not be able to effectively plan for an August commencement ceremony. Therefore, we are moving forward to determine whether an in-person ceremony for our May 2020 graduates can occur in December. 

The University is exploring in-person ceremony options for December that will comply with state guidelines, while ensuring the health and safety of our graduates and their guests. We expect to finalize plans by the end of September. Our commencement website and FAQs will also be updated with the latest information.

While I recognize that an in-person ceremony is a wonderful tradition that symbolizes the culmination of your college career, please know that a physical ceremony does not take away from your hard work, significant accomplishments or this important milestone in your life. You are now a proud UNC Charlotte alumnus/a, one that has shown incredible resilience, perseverance and determination—qualities that we need in the leaders of tomorrow.

We will do everything we can to safely commemorate your graduation day in person later this year. But in the meantime, know that all of us at UNC Charlotte are cheering you on in the next phase of your life. Go Niners!

Philip L. Dubois