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UNC to Hold Virtual Fall Commencement Ceremonies

Fall 2020 commencement graphic

December 10, 2020

The University of Northern Colorado will celebrate its spring, summer and fall 2020 graduates virtually this December in accordance with public-health guidelines that limit in-person gatherings due to COVID-19.

All of the ceremonies will be fully online and streamed on UNC’s Commencement website with remarks being given and student names displayed over the Dec. 11-12 weekend.

As of Dec. 11, over 930 students are planning to graduate with 627 earning bachelor’s degrees and 306 earning either a master’s, doctoral or specialist degree. The fall 2020 degrees will be conferred in January 2021.

Also, the spring and summer 2020 graduating classes resulted in a total of 1,430 undergraduates (1,175 for spring 2020 and 255 for summer 2020) earning their bachelor's, and a total of 684 graduates (413 for spring 2020 and 271 for summer 2020) earning either a master's, doctoral or specialist degree.

Altogether, the commencement ceremonies today and tomorrow will celebrate a total of over 3,000 graduates (around 2,050 undergraduates and 990 graduates).

Virtual Hooding Ceremonies

The UNC Graduate School invites doctoral candidates to participate in the hooding ceremony and be introduced to their peers and faculty members; the candidates are welcomed to have a family member or friend hood them during the ceremony.

The virtual hooding ceremonies will take place on Friday, Dec. 11 at the following times:

  • 5:30 p.m., Dec. 11: Fall Graduates Doctoral Hooding Ceremonies
  • 7 p.m., Dec. 11: Spring and Summer Graduates Doctoral Hooding Ceremonies

Those who want to attend the virtual hooding ceremonies must RSVP to laura.hulsey@unco.edu by Monday, Nov. 23.

Virtual Commencement Ceremonies

Ceremonies will include spring, summer and fall graduates at the undergraduate and graduate level. Graduate name and degree details will be displayed on a personalized graduation slide and each graduate’s name will be read aloud. Before the ceremony, graduates will receive an invitation to upload a personal photo to include on their graduation slide as well as record the correct pronunciation of their name. After the ceremony, graduates will have an opportunity to download and share their personalized graduation slide. Following each ceremony, graduates will have the opportunity to introduce their family and friends to faculty during a virtual reception hosted by each college dean.

  • 9-11 a.m., Dec. 12: College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
  • 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Dec. 12: College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m., Dec. 12: Monfort College of Business
  • 1:30-3:30 p.m., Dec. 12: Natural and Health Sciences
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m., Dec. 12: Performing and Visual Arts

The planning team is reaching out across campus to involve faculty, staff and students in building a university-wide effort that celebrates the success of the graduating students.

Graduates can have a professional photo taken in their cap and gown the week of the ceremony as well as have their regalia sent directly to them. Academic and student life departments are planning special celebrations. Plans may change pending potential changes in public health guidelines that may affect our ability to be on campus in person.

Spring and fall 2020 graduates are given free membership into the UNC Alumni Association and have the option to traditionally walk across the stage during a future in-person commencement ceremony of their choice.


Keynote Speaker: Katherine Archuleta ‘76

Katherine ArchuletaKatherine Archuleta, a founding partner at Dimension Strategies, graduated from UNC with her master’s in Elementary Education. Archuleta began her career as a schoolteacher in Denver Public Schools and worked in local government for Denver Mayors Federico Peña and John Hickenlooper. She worked for the Departments of Transportation and Energy in the Clinton administration and was chief of staff to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis during the first two years of the Obama Administration. Archuleta joined the Obama 2012 campaign as its national political director. Archuleta was appointed by President Barack Obama to be the first Latina to lead the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Overseeing the human resources management of the entire federal government, Archuleta was responsible for the recruitment, hiring, development and support of federal workers throughout the country. She is a founding mother of Mi Casa Resource Center, The Latina Initiative and The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and I’m Latina and I Vote/Latina Initiative 2020.

Currently, she sits on the boards of the University of Denver Board of Trustees, the Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Conservation Colorado and the Latino Leadership Institute. She was recently selected as a 2020 inductee into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.

Graduate Student Speaker: Laura Marie Schauer

Laura Marie SchauerThe student speaker for the graduate ceremony is Laura Schauer ‘20, who received her Doctor of Audiology this past spring. She attended her undergraduate at Colorado State University studying Human Development and Family Studies, but after working with at risk youth in Greeley post-undergrad, she changed her career path to audiology. Schauer has a passion for improving the quality of life of those with hearing loss and for spreading awareness about audiology. Her passion stems from her personal experiences as an individual with hearing loss. She moved to California in June 2020, accepting an audiologist position near Los Angeles.

Undergraduate Student Speaker: Yessica Elena Rodriguez

Yessica Elena RodriguezThe student speaker for the undergraduate ceremony is Yessica Rodriguez, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences with a Pre-Health emphasis and minors in both Sociology and Chemistry. She’s been involved with numerous academic, cultural and social organizations on campus and has expanded within her leadership roles to create a home at UNC. She plans to apply to medical school and become a pediatric pulmonologist.

Learn more about the speakers

Visit the Commencement Website

—Written by Katie Corder

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