Class of 2020 returns for a Commencement ceremony two years in the making

Author: Sue Ryan

Two years after receiving their diplomas in the mail following a semester of remote learning and a livestreamed conferral ceremony because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Notre Dame class of 2020 and their guests will return to campus for a University Commencement Ceremony in Notre Dame Stadium on Sunday (May 29).

Of the 2,113 undergraduates from the class, more than 1,600 are expected for this weekend’s events, along with 323 graduate students. Nearly 7,400 guests are expected to accompany the graduates.

Charles and Jill Fischer Provost Emeritus Thomas G. Burish, who retired in July 2020 after 15 years of service as the University’s chief academic officer, will return as the ceremony emcee. Class valedictorian Brady Stiller will deliver a valedictory address, and although class salutatorian Love Osunnuga is unable to attend, the class’s student body president, Elizabeth Boyle, will offer a welcome.

John F. Crowley, a Notre Dame alumnus and parent whose pursuit of a cure for the rare disease that afflicts two of his children was portrayed in the major motion picture “Extraordinary Measures,” will be the principal speaker and receive an honorary degree.

A degree conferral reenactment will take place during the ceremony, and individual colleges and schools will host various celebrations and ceremonies throughout the weekend.

Commencement Mass, which is typically held on Saturday before the main ceremony, will be celebrated in the stadium immediately prior to the graduation ceremony. Graduates will process into the stadium at 9 a.m. Mass is expected to begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. and the ceremony will follow, beginning at approximately 10:45 a.m. All attendees must have a ticket for admission. 

The Commencement Mass and University Commencement Ceremony will be livestreamed. A complete schedule of events is available online

Many common items will not be allowed in the stadium during Commencement. Visit the Commencement website for a complete list of prohibited items. In the event of severe weather, ceremonies will be moved indoors to either the Joyce Center or the Compton Family Ice Arena. Should weather conditions necessitate a move indoors, the University will communicate changes online and via ND Alert messages, social media and local news outlets.

Originally published by Sue Ryan at news.nd.edu on May 25, 2022.