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2020 Graduation Ceremonies, Celebrations Adapt To New Normal In COVID-19 Era

TAMU-SA Marketing & Communications
Curbside graduation at Texas A&M San Antonio

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted many important milestones, including traditional graduations. Instead of walking the stage in a stadium or auditorium filled to the brim with friends and family, 2020 graduates are attending virtual, curbside and limited attendance ceremonies and celebrations.


Campuses have been closed since early March to curb the spread of COVID-19 and moved classes online for remote learning to finish out the school year. In early May, the Texas Education Agency released guidelines for how schools can safely honor graduating seniors amid ongoing public health concerns.

Why do we traditionally celebrate these momentous occasions with large public gatherings? From "Pomp and Circumstance" to wearing gowns and throwing caps, why do we associate specific rituals with certain milestone?

How are Texas and San Antonio-area schools adapting commencement events in the age of COVID-19? Will these changes affect the way we think about celebrating rites of passage post-pandemic?


"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call  833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Thursday, May 21.



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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.