President Armacost to take part in his first UND commencement event

Nearly 500 candidates are eligible to graduate in University’s second virtual ceremony, set for Friday, Aug. 7

UND President Andy Armacost is slated to give a short commencement address, followed by the conferral of degrees during Friday’s virtual ceremony. YouTube screenshot.

University of North Dakota President Andy Armacost will preside over his first commencement, a virtual event that will be available Friday, Aug. 7, at 10 a.m.

Nearly 500 candidates are eligible to graduate in UND’s second virtual ceremony.

The number of graduates is similar to past summer commencements, and undergraduate and graduate students are nearly equal.

“I wish our graduates could be here to walk across the stage as their family and friends cheer,” said Armacost. “I wish I could shake the hand of graduates and feel their sense of accomplishment. We will do everything we can to make commencement special.”

Armacost will give a short commencement address, which will be followed by the conferral of degrees. The name of each graduate will be read and accompanied by a slide with their name, degree, and a photo. They will receive their diploma by mail, along with a “Hawks Pack” that includes a diploma folder, program, and other mementos.

New elements will make commencement more “ceremonial,” said Fred Wittmann, director of ceremonies and University events.

Instead of appearing via Zoom, UND officials will appear via video in full regalia, and the video will feel more like a commencement ceremony. Along with the President’s address, each dean will offer a bit of advice to graduates. There will also be a surprise guest.

“During this time when it’s not possible to gather, it’s especially important for us to celebrate and honor our graduates,” Wittmann said. “We’re very proud of their achievements. Hats off to the Class of 2020!”