MSC graduation to go virtual

Michael Smith
Murray State College commencement ceremony in 2014. The 2020 ceremony has been moved online due to coronavirus-related campus closure. A delay in delivery of caps and gowns has also postponed this semester’s ceremony.

College students graduating from Murray State College this semester will have dedicated websites and a virtual graduation ceremony. Since the college has postponed the traditional commencement, family and friends of spring graduates are being asked to leave salutations online.

"We're inviting everyone to join us in congratulating students by taking a few minutes to sign in and send best wishes. We may be meeting online, but we're going to finish the year together,” said MSC President Joy McDaniel in a Monday statement.

The website,, allows people to select the graduate’s name, write a message and even upload pictures and videos. Web pages for each graduate will then be created that will include personal and academic information about the student along with MSC content.

"Not being able to celebrate our graduates and award winners in person this year has everyone feeling downhearted and disappointed. We considered all options, but in view of safety concerns and health considerations, a virtual commencement offers the best opportunity to recognize students' accomplishments in a safe environment," said McDaniel.

The commencement was originally scheduled for later this week until concerns about the spread of COVID-19 closed college campuses across the country. According to a statement from the school last week, delivery of caps and gowns to the campus was also delayed.

The rescheduled virtual ceremony will be determined by the delivery of the caps and gowns. “President McDaniel wants you to have your caps and gowns before the virtual commencement, so the date will be based on how long it takes to receive and mail them,” read an April 29 statement.

The college transitioned all in-person classes online in March and cancelled many events. Last month, MSC announced summer classes would all be moved online. A three-phase reopening plan was announced last week and is expected to begin this week.

“This phased-in approach mirrors the plan recommended by Governor Kevin Stitt to reopen Oklahoma's economy, assuming COVID -19 statistics decrease during each phase,” read the announcement.