BVU Announces Oct. 11 Commencement Date

Buena Vista University announces Commencement for the class of 2020 will be moved to Sunday, Oct. 11 due to campus being closed this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Buena Vista University’s 129th Commencement ceremony has been moved to Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. The move occurs as a result of the BVU campus being closed this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, Commencement was to take place on May 23, 2020.

“This is an unprecedented time not only for BVU, but for our country and the world,” says BVU President Joshua Merchant. “We closed campus in March and successfully transitioned all classes to an online format. Our students, staff, and faculty have all responded, doing everything possible to advance learning and discovery for our students while observing social distancing measures to keep people and our communities safe.”

“Sunday, Oct. 11 emerged as an optimum date as it falls on Homecoming weekend, a time when so many BVU alumni gather with their families and the rest of the student body to celebrate on our gorgeous campus.” 

BVU President Joshua Merchant

As it was becoming evident the virus wouldn’t relent in time for the timing of BVU’s traditional Commencement ceremony, the University surveyed BVU students, including online, hybrid, and graduate students, who were eligible to participate in this spring’s ceremony. A clear message from the majority of respondents emerged: BVU grads wish to celebrate in person at a time in the fall deemed safe, months removed from COVID-19’s peak.

“Overwhelmingly, our students’ responses indicated their desire to have Commencement in person,” Merchant says. “Sunday, Oct. 11 emerged as an optimum date as it falls on Homecoming weekend, a time when so many BVU alumni gather with their families and the rest of the student body to celebrate on our gorgeous campus.”

The weekend promises to be memorable with several BVU class reunions and activities playing out amid home contests in volleyball, football, soccer, Hall of Fame inductions, post-game receptions, and more. The weekend will wrap up on Sunday morning with BVU’s traditional Baccalaureate service in Schaller Memorial Chapel followed by Commencement, complete with all the colorful BVU traditions and sounds, including the processional through the Victory Arch led by bagpipes into Siebens Fieldhouse.

“Commencement represents so many incredible things to our graduates, their families, their professors, and everyone associated with their remarkable journey through BVU,” Merchant says. “This is their time to celebrate, to share in the excitement and heartfelt emotion as one journey gives way to another. We want to honor all the members of this resilient class for the ways in which they’ve so proudly represented BVU, and then help send them on to the challenges that await as they depart to make their mark on a world that desperately needs their energy, their optimism, and their commitment to serve others.”

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