University of Texas at El Paso officials announced Thursday afternoon that the college will will celebrate its more than 2,300 spring graduates with on September 12, 2020 in Sun Bowl Stadium.
“This class of graduates has gone through a lot. We thought we should celebrate in a special way, and the Sun Bowl on a September evening will be special,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. “We will also set it up to livestream so that extended family and friends can watch, too.”
That Saturday, each graduate will be permitted to bring up to two guests to the outdoor venue, which will kick off at 7 p.m. The September 12 event will be set up to ensure social distancing and public health guidelines are followed for a large outdoor event.
In the meantime, UTEP is encouraging remote activities in honor of the Class of 2020 during what would have been the University’s Commencement weekend.
UTEP has launched a 2020 Spring Commencement website to recognize and celebrate members of the spring Class of 2020. The website includes a message to graduates from UTEP President Heather Wilson and congratulatory video messages from alumni and community members.
It lists the names of the graduation candidates and hosts a social wall for graduates and their supporters to engage and connect.
Graduation candidates are encouraged to participate in the Class of 2020 Photo Celebration Contest. Graduates may submit one photograph or video in any or all of the four categories: Best Decorated Lawn, Best Decorated Door, Most Creative Walk – how you would have walked across the stage – and Most Creative Graduation Cap.
Winning entries are eligible to win prizes including a grand prize. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 18. For contest rules and eligibility, click here.
Community members can join the celebration by wearing orange and walking in their neighborhoods on May 16 and 17 in honor of graduates and candidates who would have walked the stage at the Don Haskins Center throughout Commencement weekend.
Graduation candidates can stay connected through social media using the hashtag #utepgrad to post photos in their regalia, celebrating with household members, decorated caps and decorated lawns or doors.
On campus, the “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture at UTEP’s Sun Bowl-University roundabout will be illuminated in blue and orange each evening through Sunday, May 17, to commemorate UTEP’s Class of 2020.
In March, UTEP postponed the spring Commencement ceremonies originally scheduled for May 16 and 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic.