University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins conferred more than 11,000 degrees at the university's first-ever virtual Commencement on May 15.
Leaders began the plan to convert the 156th Commencement to a virtual format in mid-March due to physical distancing precautions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The new event was organized with input from graduates.
An in-person ceremony is planned during Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 30.
Graduates and their guests watched the ceremony via YouTube livestream. Viewers saw Robbins, Dean of Students Kendal Washington White, Provost Liesl Folks, college deans, this year's senior award winners and other speakers address the audience from spaces on campus. The clips were filmed in the weeks leading up to the ceremony, with participants following physical distancing guidelines.
Alison Levine, a mountaineer, adventurer and university alumna who delivered the keynote address, called on her trips up Mount Everest to show the class of 2020 that the challenges they overcame this spring would only make them stronger.
"You are resilient, you are creative, you have learned to sacrifice, to pivot and to keep going when you thought you couldn't," Levine said via video from her home.
"You are the fiercest Wildcat class ever."
Here are some images captured during filming ahead of the Commencement broadcast, as well as scenes from graduates' homes as they celebrated with their families.
If you missed the ceremony, you can watch it on the Commencement website.