December Graduation Arrives (Virtually)

NC State graduation cap illustration

“Congratulations!  You’ve done it.  Your persistent hard work has earned you the title of graduate,” Crop and Soil Sciences’ graduation website reads.  Graduation speeches normally echo in the air and are clothed in a sea of waving robes, tassels, and pithy comments on mortarboards.  2020’s NC State graduates are experiencing it differently again this year. The university will celebrate the class of 2020 with our first-ever virtual commencement ceremony. This special event will stream on Friday, December 4, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. EST to honor the graduates of spring, summer, and fall 2020.

Crop and Soil Sciences’ Department Head Jeff Mullahey underscored the university’s desire for graduate recognition.   “We don’t want to miss the chance to celebrate our students’ milestone achievement- even virtually. Earning a degree is a long journey. We are so proud of these graduates and wanted to mark the occasion as best we can.”

Celebrating Success

To commemorate our 2020 graduates’ achievement, and to cap off this long, strange year, on Friday we updated our  Celebration of Success website to capture and uplift this celebratory moment.  (It’s when we would normally be cutting the big cake in Williams Hall.)  In our new digital yearbook-style site, our finishing undergrads and graduate students each have their own page on the site to stand proud, herald their accomplishments, and even deliver their own recorded message.  Back in the spring, David Crouse, Director of Undergraduate Programs, discovered a format that would work this year and for the future.

“We used this digital yearbook format for spring graduation and it seemed to work well, given the circumstances. While other departments live-streamed graduation events, we were concerned about the limited broadband access in the local communities of our students and their families. Graduation is to be a celebration, not a frustration, so we’re continuing with a solution that keeps rural access in mind. It’s an evolving celebration we are renewing each semester. The idea is to create a graduation celebration and ongoing alumni networking database.”

Going On Record

Joining the celebration virtually, the NC State Chancellor, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) leadership, and Crop and Soil Sciences faculty and staff share their written and recorded messages of encouragement and inspiration.  CALS Dean Richard Linton said, “You’ve embodied NC State’s ‘Think and Do’ spirit.  And you have made this college and university very proud!”

“In whatever direction you go, we wish you the best.  Go with the confidence that you have gained the knowledge you need to succeed and the professional skills necessary to put that knowledge to work,” John Dole, CALS Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs.  

Friends and family are invited to contribute to the celebration website as well.  Each graduate page has an area for comments and well-wishes and a dedicated #CSSC2020 hashtag feeds social media comments directly to the celebration site.

The Party Lives On

a sheet cake with congratulations graduate writingWe in Crop and Soil Sciences aren’t finished.  The celebration continues into the future. Our website is a visual collection of the members of our pack – one that can be referenced for years to come. We look forward to following your career progress and the contributions your work will make.  Congratulations graduates!