2020 graduation ceremonies to be virtual celebrations
Graduation ceremonies are milestones in the life of the University as opportunities to celebrate and recognise the academic achievements of our students. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the time being graduations are unable to be held in the customary manner and will be replaced with online ceremonies. All students who are eligible to graduate will have their degrees conferred on the same date as the scheduled ceremonies and their graduation documents (testamur and academic transcript) will be mailed to them.
Why has this decision been made?
This decision is taken in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to take all possible steps to protect the health and safety of the University’s members and our broader community. Graduation is a significant milestone in a student’s university experience, and like you, we are disappointed to have to make this decision. Although it isn’t possible to gather in person, the university is considering ways to make the virtual celebration a memorable occasion.
What ceremony does this decision affect?
The next ceremony is scheduled for Friday 4 December 2020. It will be an online (virtual) celebration. There will be no physical event held in Adelaide. Students, guests and staff will be invited to join together online at the planned ceremony time, to participate in a virtual ceremony.
What does this mean for graduands?
If you have been approved by the Academic Board as eligible to graduate, the status of your graduation is unaffected. If you have selected the 4 December 2020 graduation, you will automatically graduate in absentia, which means your degree or diploma will be conferred on the same date as scheduled and you will officially become a graduate of the University of Divinity on that day.
Graduands need to ensure that their postal address on the University’s student information system is up-to-date. Instructions are included in the graduation invitation email, or you can check with your Home College.
Future celebration for 2020 graduates
We are unable to predict how long COVID-19 will affect us and our broader community. If and when it is safe to gather, the University will arrange an alternate public ceremony to which the 2020 graduates will be invited.
What about 2021 ceremonies?
The University has put plans in place for a variety of graduation ceremonies, including a return to past practice, smaller ceremonies incorporating social distancing, and online ceremonies. Due to the fast-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University is not yet able to provide information about the potential impact of COVID-19 on 2021 ceremonies. The next ceremony scheduled is for Melbourne in March 2021; a final decision about this ceremony will be taken no later than January 2021.