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Virtual graduation ceremonies replace big celebrations in Tucson

Virtual graduation ceremonies replace big celebrations in Tucson

From the April's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: 1,200+ Pima County cases, stay-home order extended series
University of Arizona graduation

Right: Fireworks blast color into the night, signaling the end of the UA commencement ceremony. An estimated 4,000 graduating students and 40,000 guests were expected to attend.

The coronavirus pandemic has not only forced students from campus, it’s preventing them from capping off their college careers like others before them.

Instead of thousands filling up Arizona Stadium or Tucson Convention Center, graduating students at the University of Arizona and Pima Community College are invited to virtual ceremonies.

The UA will hold their graduation livestreamed online on May 15 at 6 p.m.

This decision affects all celebrations and convocations in Tucson, Phoenix, Yuma and Sierra Vista, President Robert Robbins wrote in a letter last month.

“I will miss seeing you more than you will know. I can only hope you will understand why we couldn’t hold the ceremony as scheduled,” Robbins wrote.

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

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.

Pima Community College has scheduled their virtual ceremony for May 21 at 7 p.m. Additional details will be released later, according to PCC.

Pima students are encouraged to share photos and videos of their memories by using #PimaGrad20 on social media platforms. These will be included during the event.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1

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