July 17, 2020

Dear UNT spring and summer graduates,

Providing you and your families with the opportunity to celebrate your tremendous accomplishment of earning a UNT degree is incredibly important. We are finalizing plans for your commencement ceremonies, and I want you to be among the first to receive this information.

As we have monitored the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its impact, we considered many options and a group of dedicated faculty and staff have worked hard to plan live-stream commencement ceremonies the week of Aug. 17 so that we can celebrate your achievements. These virtual ceremonies will include most of the traditional commencement elements like ceremonial degree conferral and individual graduate recognition. However, for your safety and the safety of each of our graduates, your families, and our faculty and staff members, these ceremonies will unfortunately not be open for attendance in person by you or your guests. Learn more on the commencement website.

Our hope was that we would join together for in-person ceremonies in August to celebrate you and your fellow graduates from this spring and summer, but as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, it is clear that we still cannot safely provide that kind of event. Even though commencement will not look like we originally planned, it is important to remember that commencement ceremonies are the congratulatory events we host to publicly and formally recognize you. Graduation is the process of being awarded a degree after completion of credit hours and other degree requirements. You either already are, or soon will be a UNT graduate, depending on whether you are a Spring 2020 graduate or a Summer 2020 graduation candidate.

Please know that our university community values you and your successes. All of our UNT graduates demonstrate strength and persistence, but you — the Class of 2020 in particular — have faced a situation unlike anything UNT graduates have experienced before, one we hope no other class has to endure.

Earning your degree during such uncertain times is an emblem of your courage, adaptability and determination. We are incredibly proud of you, and I hope you will be able to join us for these celebratory ceremonies.

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk

UNT President