FAU Releases Pre-Recorded Graduation Ceremonies for Fall 2020 Graduates

FAU colleges share videos so students can celebrate from home.


Photo courtesy of FAU President John Kelly’s Twitter.

Gillian Manning, Contributing Writer

Students at Florida Atlantic University have had to adapt to their new virtual learning environments, but graduation presents another challenge.

FAU President John Kelly released a blog post congratulating the Class of 2020 graduates and included a link to pre-recorded videos so students can participate in a virtual commencement ceremony on their own time. Kelly expressed that he plans on holding an in-person commencement ceremony for these students at an undisclosed time when it will be safe to do so. 

Each college created a video for its graduation ceremony, however, each video begins the same. The videos open with a montage of on-campus footage along with audio messages from anonymous students. “This isn’t the end that I expected, it made me confront what really matters and to me, that’s always been the journey, not the destination,” one student said. 

Every college’s video traditionally announces graduates’ names; the screen showing their name, major, degrees with distinctions, and dissertation information if applicable. The videos end with special, congratulatory messages from the staff members of the college. 

The videos all feature Dr. Kimberly Dunn, the University Marshal, and President John Kelly. Monica Berovides, from the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Letters, sang the national anthem, with the help of the FAU Wind Ensemble directed by Kyle Prescott, the FAU alma mater. 

Kelly ensured that his “selfie” tradition would not be lost. During typical graduation ceremonies, Kelly would ask students to take selfies from their seats with him in the background. During the video, he asks instead that graduates take a selfie with whomever they are celebrating. 

“Go ahead, I’ll wait here while you take your selfie. If you’d like me to photobomb,” he said and paused with a smile, posed behind his podium. 

Kelly kept another tradition alive despite the unusual circumstances. He asked students to move the tassels of their caps from left to right and Owlsley made an appearance, demonstrating the tradition. 

“Congratulations and go Owls!” Kelly said. 

Gillian Manning is a contributing writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email or tweet her @gillianmanning_ or email [email protected]