Tusculum alters August graduation plans

In harmony with executive order No. 50 from Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee concerning the coronavirus, Tusculum University is changing the format of the August graduation ceremony from in person to virtual.

The event, which will celebrate the students who completed their academic requirements in May and those who will finish in the summer, will premiere Saturday, Aug. 8, at 10:30 a.m. Graduates and anyone else who is interested in watching the ceremony can view it on Tusculum’s website.

“We have concluded the wisest decision is to change to a virtual format for the commencement ceremony,” said Dr. Scott Hummel, Tusculum’s president. “Our No. 1 priority is safety for all participants in a graduation ceremony, and we will be able to achieve that best under the present circumstances with a virtual event.”

Even with the switch, graduation will still include many standard and beloved elements of commencement ceremonies. The university will read the names of every graduate and will add a special touch by showing a photo of graduates who submit one. Commencement will also feature one undergraduate speaker and one graduate school speaker as well as remarks from Dr. Hummel and Dr. Tricia Hunsader, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

“We are focused on retaining the heart of what commencement represents – celebration of academic excellence and a formal ceremony to mark completion of one stage in life and the beginning of another,” Dr. Hunsader said. “This is a significant milestone for our graduates, and we want them and their family members to have a meaningful graduation experience.”