One of the lasting memories for every college student is the day they celebrate the completion of their degree and realize that after all of the hard work and sacrifice, it was all worth it. To ensure graduates, their families, and faculty are able to mark this significant occasion from anywhere in the world, the University of Arizona Global Campus is hosting a virtual commencement to celebrate the fall graduating class on October 8, 2022, at 10 a.m. PT. Be sure to check our Graduation Ceremony Information Page to learn more about how you and your friends and family can join in the celebration.
You can also RSVP to the Facebook event for the ceremony and share the link with family and friends to stay up to date on announcement made on our social channels. You also are invited to participate in a Facebook Live Commencement Ceremony Walkthrough on September 22 so you know what to expect on the big day! Also, be sure to join us on Facebook Live for a Pre-Commencement Ceremony Celebration on Thursday, October 6, for some fun games and chances to win some exclusive UAGC swag.
University leadership is excited to provide graduates with a memorable experience and has been preparing for the fall ceremony for several months. Recognizing that graduates often plan months or even years in advance to participate in commencement, they want to make sure graduates will have the best possible celebration. As such, the University is going “above and beyond” to create a fully immersive and inclusive virtual experience.
“The objective is to provide opportunity for all eligible UAGC grads to participate in their graduation, especially if they weren’t able to attend an in-person event,” explains University Events and Engagement Manager Ben Gothia. “As we continue to have virtual ceremonies, we are striving to improve the engagement experience.”
With this event, the virtual experience will acknowledge everything the graduates have accomplished.
“Everyone is invited to create their own celebration, gather family and friends together virtually or in-person, and view the ceremony together,” explains UAGC Chief Operating Officer Katie Scheie. “I’m really excited to see all of the creative ways that our graduates participate.”
To help make this a memorable event, there are a number of “experiences” planned. Some of the many highlights include:
- Exclusive invitations to video events for UAGC CHAMPS mentors and mentees, Honors Program students, Honor Society students, and military affiliated students
- Keynote speech from Kevin Daley, a former Harlem Globetrotter, business professional, and graduate of Ashford University*
- Alumni speech from a fellow alumna, Mauri Garcia
- Speeches from UAGC President Paul Pastorek, Provost Dr. Sarah Steinberg, as well as Dr. Nivine Mehahed, Chair of the UAGC Board of Directors
- Spotlight on the Alumni Association with information for graduates
Perhaps the most exciting experience during the virtual celebration is the option for graduates to produce individualized “stage clips” of themselves in their commencement attire. Every graduate will receive a link prior to the ceremony, which allows them to submit a picture or video and receive a custom clip with an introduction and outgoing highlights that could be shared directly to their social media channels.
How to Throw a Commencement Party at Home
Because the University is a global campus, it’s not unusual for graduates to celebrate their greatest achievement from a distance.
Past commencement ceremonies have been streamed online for graduates who were unable to make the trip to the San Diego or Arizona locations, and the University hosts two ceremonies a year, one in person and one virtual. Those who celebrated their achievement at home have gotten creative in their commencement planning. To help you stay organized and get your creative juices flowing ahead of the ceremony, the University created a Commencement Checklist that served as a guideline, provided some ideas on how to get festive, and ensured you can enjoy a stress-free virtual celebration.
Follow some of these additional tips below on how to make the most of your virtual commencement:
1. Background decorations are a must
Do you go all out for holidays? Then you already know a thing or two about decorations. This is an occasion where it’s perfectly acceptable to make the celebration all about you, so choose any room you like and give it a makeover with signs, streamers, or anything that puts a smile on your face.
If you’re inviting friends or family to join you, encourage them to bring signs of their own. You could even kick it up a notch and have shirts made up with your face on them, with large lettering that says “Congratulations!”
2. Send e-vites and announcements to friends and family
If your loved ones aren’t traveling to your home for commencement, you can still make a plan to have everyone together for your big moment. Send an e-vite or virtual graduation announcement with details on the commencement ceremony.
3. Host your commencement watch party online
Zoom and BlueJeans are among the video conferencing tools that gained a global audience of users during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are other options out there! Do your research and find one that best suits your needs.
4. Create a congratulatory video montage
Students are adept at forming friendships within the online classroom. One way to celebrate your collective accomplishments is to gather congratulatory video messages from each other and create a montage. You could be the person who kicks things off by creating a video congratulating one classmate, and ask them to “pay it forward” by creating their own video for another UAGC grad.
5. Make a graduation story
If you’re not shy about sharing your achievements on social media, you can create a “story” for commencement. Start by taking videos and photos of the decoration process, then let your followers watch as you chronicle every moment of the big day. Don’t forget to include your “thank yous” (like an award ceremony acceptance speech) and talk about all the people in your support system who have helped you get through college.
6. Take photos!
Don’t forget to document your day by taking as many pictures as you want. Need some tips? Check out this blog for some great advice on snapping the best graduation photos! And be sure to share them on your social profiles — or with us on the Facebook event page — using #UAGCgrad22. We will also be hosting a photo contest leading up to the big day, so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for details!
7. Cookies and cake
That’s it. Eat cookies and cake on your graduation celebration day! An advantage of celebrating at home is that you can reward yourself with treats. Know a friend or relative who has baking talents? Ask them to contribute a dessert to the party. Check out some of these delicious UAGC-inspired commencement recipes you can create in advance. Enjoy, and share leftovers with neighbors or others who will be proud of you.
One last thing – don’t forget to take a moment to celebrate yourself. Graduating from college is a significant life achievement, placing you firmly on the path to becoming a lifelong learner. Share your accomplishments with the hashtag #UAGCgrad22, and enjoy your success!
“This is all about celebrating your achievements, your sacrifices, and the incredibly hard work that you’ve put into finishing college,” Scheie says. “Our graduates represent our legacy, and we can’t wait to see what you do!”
*Ashford University is now the University of Arizona Global Campus