Transylvania to honor Class of 2020 in virtual commencement celebration Saturday

Transylvania University on Saturday will honor the 179 graduating seniors in its Class of 2020 during a virtual commencement.

The public is invited to join the university starting at 9 a.m. for the celebration, which will include features similar to an in-person ceremony like the conferral of Bachelor of Arts degrees.

“It’s been a pleasure to get to know these remarkable students, and I wish I could congratulate them in person Saturday on the commencement stage,” Interim President John Williams said. “While a traditional ceremony isn’t possible at this time, we hope our virtual celebration will capture the excitement we feel about their many accomplishments. This class has demonstrated admirable scholarship, athleticism and community engagement — along with a resilience that embodies the theme of our academic year. These qualities will serve them well in life after graduation.”

Williams on Saturday will deliver an online address similar to what he would have done during a traditional ceremony. He also will confer the degrees and make remarks to students.

The virtual commencement also will include a singalong to “Hail, Transylvania” recorded by the school’s choir specially for the event. Additionally, four faculty members — one from each division — will read the names of graduates during a slideshow with photos of students (many in cap and gown) and information such as their majors and minors. Other videos will include messages from faculty, staff, alumni and the graduating seniors themselves.

An in-person ceremony will be held when it’s safe to do so.

Class of 2020 highlights

Transylvania’s seniors have distinguished themselves with numerous achievements, for instance:

  • Forty percent of them are receiving Latin honors for a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5, and 47% are receiving program honors.
  • Thirty-eight percent of this year’s graduates studied abroad while at Transylvania.
  • A number of these students will pursue advanced degrees at various medical, law and graduate schools. Many other opportunities await them — from accounting jobs to serving as an officer in the U.S. Air Force to a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.
  • The entire class was honored by Transylvania’s Athletics Department on Sunday with a RAFY Inspiration Award for its ability to rise above challenges.