Commencement 2020 combated COVID-19 with a drive-in ceremony that included honking car horns instead of applause to accentuate the pomp and pageantry as hundreds of graduates and their families celebrated from their cars in a non-traditional approach to a Shippensburg University tradition.

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The in-person ceremony, requested by students, maintained important elements of commencement: the academic processional and recessional of faculty and administration, speeches from Student Government Association President Aven Bittinger, Council of Trustees President Mike Ross, and Shippensburg University President Laurie Carter, and two specially-produced recordings for the ceremony that included Karla Moses ’18, ’21 performing her rendition of the National Anthem and the Shippensburg University Choir performing the Alma Mater.

Mitigation protocols including mask wearing, social distancing and replacing handshakes and hugs with elbow bumps and smiling eyes did not dampen the enthusiasm of families and friends who cheered on their graduates from their cars as their names were recited for the  traditional walk to receive their diplomas.

“you have reached this goal in perhaps the most challenging collective moment of our generation”

Noting the challenges the graduates face in the midst of the pandemic, President Laurie A. Carter reminded them “you have reached this goal in perhaps the most challenging collective moment of our generation,” adding that they have succeeded in spite of the challenges, and need to embrace imperfect conditions as opportunities.

Shippensburg University’s graduating class of 989 included 7 doctoral degrees, 187 master degrees, and 795 bachelor degrees.

The drive-in ceremony was held outside of the Shippensburg University Recreation Center Saturday August 1, 2020 at 10 a.m.

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Ceremony Video:

Ceremony Photo Gallery: