UNO moves spring commencement ceremony online

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

UNO’s May 2020 Commencement Ceremonies will be held in this online format on May 8, 2020 as originally scheduled. About 2,000 students are expected to be recognized for their academic achievements at Spring Commencement.

Moving commencement to an online format for May 2020 enables UNO to follow through on its commitment to celebrating the accomplishments of its students while remaining mindful of the health and safety of the campus and Omaha communities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“Commencement is a critical event for the UNO community as we recognize the academic achievements of those who have worked so hard to attain a degree,” said Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D. “While the ceremonies this spring will certainly be a change of pace, an online celebration allows us to keep some sense of normalcy in these uncertain times and enables us to provide our graduates with well-deserved recognition."

In this online streaming format, students will be recognized in a ceremony specific to their respective academic college. Separate online ceremonies for undergraduates will be held for each of UNO’s six academic colleges and a separate ceremony will be held for those receiving graduate degrees.

Each streaming ceremony will include: Remarks from Chancellor Gold, the awarding of the Chancellor’s Medal to a faculty or staff member in recognition of their extraordinary service to the university, and remarks from the dean and a student speaker from each college. Each ceremony will conclude with the conferral of degrees.

The conferral of degrees will include individual recognition of each student who has met the requirements for graduation. Each student’s name will be read aloud as their name, photo, and degree received are displayed for the audience.

This May, UNO will award an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters to Mr. Samuel Bak. Mr. Bak is a renowned artist and survivor of the Holocaust. As a survivor, he has dedicated his life’s work, over 8000 paintings, drawings, and sculptures, to expressing the human condition. Mr. Bak’s work was celebrated on the UNO campus last fall through an exhibit of his art toured by over 4000 community members and his public lecture as part of Human Rights Week.

Graduating students who would still like the opportunity to participate in the UNO December Commencement ceremony in Baxter Arena will have the option to do so. Additional details are forthcoming for Omaha-based UNL College of Engineering graduates.

Students graduating in August 2020 will also have the opportunity to participate in the UNO December Commencement Ceremony. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available at

“As we work through this public health crisis this Spring and Summer, we want students and family to know we are all in this together. UNO is committed to continuing students on their academic journey,” Chancellor Gold said. “Classes will continue in remote mode Spring and Summer sessions, and we will confer students with their degrees and celebrate their accomplishments in May. We hope some of you can join us in December.”

Additional Information:

  • Hardcopy and digital copies of diplomas will be provided to each student in May. All diplomas and diploma cases will be provided in a safe and timely fashion.

  • Cap and gown are not required, though students can purchase a cap and tassel from the UNO Bookstore if they desire.

  • Students who have already purchased a cap and gown may return one or both to the UNO Bookstore for a refund. As the UNO Bookstore is currently closed, those who wish to make a return should make arrangements by emailing

  • A program for May 2020 Commencement ceremonies will be available digitally. Print copies will be made available through UNO’s Office of University Communications, please email after the ceremony if you are interested in a hard copy of the program.