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A Ceremony for All Seasons: Virtual Commencement To Honor Entire Class of 2020
Online Event Will Be Dec. 14, Won't Affect Plans for Future In-Person Ceremony

Hanna Abuhay, who graduated last spring with a bachelor’s degree in healthcare studies, will be one of the nearly 8,500 members of the Class of 2020 who will be recognized during a virtual commencement ceremony on Dec. 14. The University still plans to celebrate the Class of 2020 at a future in-person event.

Graduates of The University of Texas at Dallas will be recognized Dec. 14 in an expanded virtual commencement ceremony that will include all members of the Class of 2020, whether they completed their studies in spring, summer or fall.

The University will recognize 3,603 summer and fall graduates, but the virtual ceremony will include a reading of the names of all 8,469 graduates from 2020, whose ceremonies were not able to be held in person earlier in the year. The University still plans to celebrate the Class of 2020 at an in-person commencement ceremony at a future date.

The main commencement video will include elements of a traditional ceremony, with a congratulatory message from President Richard C. Benson and remarks from Provost Inga Musselman. Dean of Undergraduate Education Jessica Murphy will explain honors designations and certify undergraduates, and the Dean of Graduate Education Juan González will congratulate master’s and doctoral students and certify graduate students.

Graduate cap that says UT-Done

Virtual Grad Fair

The UT Dallas alumni and annual giving team will host a Virtual Grad Fair at 2 p.m. Dec. 10 for graduating seniors. Graduates who join the meeting will be celebrated and welcomed into the UT Dallas alumni family. They also have a chance to win a one-year Alumni Association membership. The team will also announce how graduates can claim their first alumni gift. Other commencement celebrations in schools and departments can be found on the Class of 2020 webpage.

A virtual tour of campus and a performance of the alma mater will be included in the online event.

Each of the University’s eight schools will be highlighted in videos that will feature remarks from the schools’ deans, and the reading and display of graduates’ names in alphabetical order.

Graduates will be able to search the website for their name card — which will include name, degree and semester of graduation — and save an image of it. Graduates’ names will also be posted in a digital commencement program. The virtual commencement ceremony will be kept live for a year on the website.

Of the 3,603 students graduating this summer and fall, the University is expected to award 2,164 undergraduate degrees. One hundred and sixty doctoral degrees have been certified, and 1,279 master’s degrees are expected to be conferred. 

Graduates include 1,409 students expected to receive degrees from the Naveen Jindal School of Management and 862 from the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Also being recognized this fall are 444 students from the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 333 from the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, 176 from the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, 163 from the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication, 148 from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and 68 from the School of Arts and Humanities.

Each of the University’s graduates will receive a special celebration package in the mail in January. When they receive their box, students are encouraged to share their moments of celebration using #utdgrad on social media channels and emailing photo@utdallas.edu.

Honors Graduation

The Office of Undergraduate Education in partnership with the University Bookstore will mail a UT Dallas honors medallion to students who are graduating with Latin honors. The medallions will be included with their graduation packages in January.

Lavender Graduation

To honor LGBT+ and ally students and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the University, the Galerstein Gender Center will mail gift packages to the fall 2020 Lavender Graduation participants. The gifts include a rainbow cord, a certificate and a T-shirt. The deadline to register is Dec. 14.

By the Numbers

Graduate on campus mall.

Mohit Jain earned a master’s degree in business analytics from the Naveen Jindal School of Management last spring.

The fall 2020 class represents 43 countries, 33 U.S. states and 59 Texas counties. Computer science is the most popular degree earned this fall at all three levels — bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral — earned this fall. The oldest graduate is 68 years old, while the youngest is 18. Nine graduates added doctorates to the master’s and bachelor’s degrees they had already earned at UT Dallas. Nine UT Dallas staff members earned degrees over the summer, and seven others will graduate in December. Other numbers:

  • Percentage of male graduates: 52%
  • Percentage of female graduates: 47%
  • Percentage of first-generation student graduates: 23%
  • Percentage of international student graduates: 18%
  • Percentage of transfer student graduates: 57%

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu.