NOTE: The release below is now outdated; on March 12, college officials announced that a pair of in-seat commencement ceremonies will take place at Mizzou Arena on Saturday, May 1.

DiplomasHere is the text of the initial release, as originally posted:

As part of the ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Columbia College officials have decided to host a virtual commencement following the Spring 2021 semester. The virtual event will occur on May 1 at 11 a.m. and replace the previously planned in-person event.

“This remarkable group of students has fought through daunting obstacles to reach this important milestone and we look forward to honoring them,” said Columbia College Interim President David Russell. “Hosting our commencement ceremony in a virtual format is not ideal; however, it is consistent with our continued focus on keeping the members of our campus community healthy and safe. We will work to make the virtual experience a memorable one for the Class of Spring 2021.”

The ceremony will feature guest speakers and special music. Students will have the opportunity to upload photos or video clips that will run as their names are announced. Caps and gowns will be provided to graduates who request them and an alumni pin will be sent with their diploma.