Way to go, 2020 grads! We wish we could've celebrated your graduation in person this spring. While we weren't able to gather in Memorial Auditorium, we honored your accomplishments during a virtual Commencement ceremony on May 3.
This special celebration included congratulatory messages from President Craft, class speakers Prashansha Maharjan and Elly Schaefer, as well as guest Commencement speaker Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Answered by the Students of the Commencement Committee
Our role is an advising one. We were sought by the Commencement Committee to be a sample population of the graduating body so they can receive input on their decisions. We share our thoughts and ideas, react to their plans, and talk with many of our classmates to gain additional insights.
We hope that it will be, in some regard, a surprise, so we don’t want to share everything with you here. We will say that a tassel is included in the box, so you do not need to order one for a keepsake. You will also receive your diploma cover.
The virtual Commencement celebration will be streamed on UStream and will feature messages of congratulations from Concordia President William Craft, class speakers Prashansha Maharjan and Elly Schaefer, and the Commencement speaker, Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. The video will also include pre-recorded musical performances from the three flagship ensembles on campus and will have words from Campus Ministry. Individual graduate’s names will not be called but will be listed in the video and on the program sent in the boxes each graduating student receives from Concordia.
The Commencement speakers for the virtual celebration followed the same process as has been typical in recent years. The students of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) work to nominate and vote on student speakers for the senior class. Once they have a list of possible speakers, they send their choices to President Craft, who makes the final selection.
At this time, the college is not planning or anticipating having an in-person Commencement ceremony due to the gathering restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that is disappointing for many, so we are working on finding new ways to celebrate. See the next question for more information on a future celebration.
Due to the overwhelming unknowns as a result of COVID-19 and the possibility of a second or even third wave, we have not finalized decisions regarding a future event at this time. We will continue to follow the recommendations from local, state, and national officials, so we will wait to confirm the date and details of the celebration until we know that it will be safe. While we would like to gather as soon as possible, current predictions by experts expect the outbreak to affect daily life for many months; therefore, it is not possible to plan anything any earlier than this fall. We recognize that many students will have moved or have started other responsibilities at that point, so we will give information to graduates as soon as we have confirmed plans in hopes that as many students as possible can join the festivities.
The Commencement Committee has begun to brainstorm about general details but, without knowing the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in the future, we cannot say for certain what the nature of this event will be. It is highly unlikely that a gathering the size of a traditional Commencement ceremony will be allowed anytime soon, so we are planning to create a new type of event that will still allow for graduates to connect, celebrate, and spend time together to take photos.
We plan to inform the campus further by mid-summer, so watch your Concordia email for updates. If you will no longer be using your cord.edu email after graduation, update your information online with your preferred email address.
You are not required to order a cap and gown but, if you would like to have one for photos and keepsake purposes, you may still order them from the Cobber Bookstore (ship in 2-3 business days). You will not need to order a tassel because one is included in the box you receive from Concordia.
Yes! Even in years with traditional Commencement ceremonies, diplomas are mailed after Commencement. Grades must be finalized before diplomas are released, and this process takes up to three weeks after the last day of finals. The Registrar’s Office estimates that diplomas will be mailed out the third week of May. Once this process has been completed, diplomas will be mailed to the permanent address that you provided in CobberNet. If you wish to change this mailing address, you should email Penny Burgau by May 11.
Institutional honors are listed in the program and on the transcript, but students do not receive cords for them. Cords are only for departmental honors, honors societies, etc. The Commencement Committee reached out to all departments and invited them to include various items such as these in the boxes that were sent by Concordia to graduates. If your department supplied these materials, they are included in the box. We do know that some departments have chosen to send their materials separately. Please contact your department directly if you have further questions about these items.
Yes. In order to access your official transcript, follow these steps:
Click the Clearinghouse button to be forwarded to the Student Self-Service website. Follow the instructions for the task you wish to complete, such as ordering a transcript, which will be delivered as a PDF via email.
Master’s degree graduates will be receiving their diplomas, diploma covers, and a program in mid-May, along with their hoods if they ordered them. Email Lisa Sjoberg with any questions.
The Concordia art department shared a video gallery of the Senior Art Exhibition on Facebook, including senior art students describing their work and messages from art faculty. Congratulations to the award winners and all of the graduates!