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OSU Commencement Will Be Virtual, Again

Oregon State University

Students graduating from Oregon State University this spring won’t receive their diplomas in person. OSU announced that this year’s commencement ceremonies will be held virtually due to the pandemic.


In 2019, then-OSU president Ed Ray looked out over the thousands of graduates and well-wishers at Reser Stadium in Corvallis. “This is the largest group of observers and family and friends and participants that we have ever had at Oregon State University, so give yourselves a round of applause,” he said. 

That kind of crowd would be unthinkable during the pandemic. And the university says even with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, it’s unlikely that large gatherings will be safe … or even permitted … by mid-June. So for the second year in a row, OSU graduates will watch their graduation ceremony through a computer screen.


The decision affects ceremonies at the main campus in Corvallis and the Cascades campus in Bend. The Corvallis virtual commencement is scheduled for June 12, 2021 and the OSU-Cascades ceremony is scheduled for June 13, 2021.


“While extremely disappointing that we won’t hold traditional commencement ceremonies in person, we know this is the appropriate decision as we keep health and safety as our top priorities,” OSU President F. King Alexander said in a press release. "We feel it’s important to make this announcement now before large numbers of our graduates’ families begin to make travel and lodging arrangements.”


The University of Oregon has not yet announced its commencement plans for this year.


Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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