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University of Arizona kicks off first-ever virtual commencement ceremony tonight

University of Arizona kicks off first-ever virtual commencement ceremony tonight

From the May's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: 12.6% jobless rate in Arizona, testing blitz continues series

The University of Arizona's 156th commencement ceremony will have a different look tonight as students, families and friends are invited to tune in online.

The UA will open the livestream during a pre-show at 5:30 p.m. before the ceremony at 6 p.m.

President Robert Robbins will confer more than 11,000 bachelor's, master's, doctoral and professional degrees during the ceremony.

The event’s keynote speaker will be Alison Levine, history-making adventurer, New York Times best-selling author and UA alumnae, the college said.

Student Zoom rooms will be available for graduates to celebrate together, UA said.

The rooms are for graduating students only and will require logging in with a student’s NetID. Rooms will go live during the pre-show.

UA is still offering the 2020 class a chance to celebrate in-person during homecoming week. The event has been planned for Oct. 30 on the UA mall.

Student Awards

Seven UA graduates are being recognized with achievement awards during the ceremony.

Provost Award

  • Lauren Easter is graduating summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Arts in law and philosophy.

The award is given to an "outstanding graduating student who transferred to the University of Arizona from an Arizona community college," UA said.

"Criteria for the award includes perseverance and commitment to academic studies, contributions to the University community, and above-average scholastic ability, citizenship, and leadership."

Robie Gold Medal

  • Crystal Alyssia Raygoza is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in family studies and human development, with a minor in Spanish.
  • Tony Viola IV is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Literacy Learning & Leadership within the College of Education.

The Robie Gold Medal is awarded to students for their “personal integrity, initiative, cooperativeness, enthusiasm, humility, well-rounded interests active participation in student affairs, service to the University, willingness to give more than required, and love of God and country,” UA said.

Robert Logan Nugent Award

  • Lily Chavez is graduating magna cum laude from the Honors College with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Global Studies.
  • Meucci Ilunga is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry.

The award is given to students who show “active and enthusiastic participation and service in community and University endeavors,” UA said.

Merrill P. Freeman Medal

• Ahmad Shahin is graduating summa cum laude from the Honors College with a Bachelor of Science in physiology and a minor in Arabic.

• Marcos Gomez Ambriz is a double-major Honors College student graduating with a Bachelor of Science in physiology and Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry.

The award is given to students who show a “moral force of character,” UA said. “Additional factors, which may be considered, are popularity, receipt of athletic awards, membership in organizations, and service on committees and as officers.”

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or sdavis@tucson.com

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1

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