The University of Houston-Victoria will host six in-person commencement ceremonies in Victoria and Katy for 2020 spring, summer and fall graduates.
“Earning a degree is one of the proudest moments of many of our graduates’ lives, and UHV is excited to be able to give them the opportunity to celebrate that achievement with their friends and family,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “It was disappointing when we had to postpone our spring commencement ceremonies, but we think these new ceremonies will be worth the wait.”
The first three ceremonies will be Dec. 12 at the Leonard E. Merrell Center, 6301 S. Stadium Lane in Katy. The second set of ceremonies will be Jan. 9 at Faith Family Church, 2002 E. Mockingbird Lane in Victoria.
At both locations, the first ceremony will be at 10 a.m. for UHV School of Arts & Sciences graduates, followed by School of Business Administration graduates at 1 p.m. and School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development graduates at 4 p.m. Students graduating in 2020 may choose to attend either the December or January commencement ceremony for their school.
After the UHV campus moved its classes online in March and it became clear that it would not be safe to hold in-person commencement ceremonies in May for spring graduates, the university sent out a survey to its graduating students. The survey asked graduates if they would prefer to have commencement as an indoor, in-person ceremony; an outdoor ceremony; or virtually. The overwhelming response was that students wanted to wait for an indoor ceremony.
Now, the university is prepared to host ceremonies for all of its graduates from 2020 with changes to ensure everyone’s safety. In order to stay under 25 % capacity at the locations, only guests with tickets will be allowed in the buildings. Students will be given two tickets for guests for each ceremony. After students choose which ceremony they will attend, they may exchange unused tickets with other students using an online forum.
“UHV is committed to ensuring our students can celebrate commencement in a way that is safe for themselves and their families,” said Michael Wilkinson, senior director of UHV Student Services and Judicial Affairs. “The university’s leadership and staff have worked hard to take as many precautions as possible to make commencement a special day while also offering a safe environment.”
The university also has made changes to the actual graduation ceremonies. Instead of having an opening processional, students will check in and immediately take their seats. The university also will be limiting the number of speakers for the event.
Sanitation stations will be available to those entering the building, and masks will be required at all times. Graduates will be given a UHV mask when they check in. After each ceremony, guests will be asked to immediately clear the facility so that it can be sanitized before the next ceremony.
The ceremonies will be livestreamed at www.uhv.edu/graduation. Updates about the ceremonies also are available on the same page.