Penn State Berks announces plans for spring commencement

Penn State Berks student shows off their cap during graduation.
Credit: Penn State

WYOMISSING, Pa. — Commencement is a milestone in every graduate’s life, and the faculty and staff at Penn State Berks want to celebrate this achievement with its graduates.

While the coronavirus pandemic has led to the University offering a virtual Spring 2020 Commencement for the Class of 2020, the college invites graduates to return for a future Penn State Berks commencement ceremony when public health guidelines allow. Potential dates and details will be announced in the future as more information is known about the spread of COVID-19 and the continued need for social distancing.

The University's virtual commencement ceremony, set for 2 p.m. on May 9, is the first step in recognizing the Class of 2020. The ceremony will be livestreamed, and available internationally, at in celebration of the completion of the academic experience of more than 14,000 Penn State students. It is expected to be 40–45 minutes in length.

Following the livestream ceremony, the Penn State Berks commencement webpage will go live, recognizing the accomplishments of the college’s more than 270 spring graduates. At that time, graduates, friends and families will be able to view the Berks webpage, which will be linked to the virtual ceremony website, for a more personal experience, including individual student recognition and brief video messages from Penn State Berks Chancellor R. Keith Hillkirk and the college’s two student marshals, Hunter M. Beane and Elizabeth C. Hunsicker.

The webpage will also include a new college video showcasing the many ways that Penn State Berks serves its surrounding community, and a link to a virtual senior scrapbook. The virtual commencement ceremony and the Penn State Berks webpage will remain posted for one year. 

Beginning at 3:15 p.m., graduates will be able to join together with professors from their degree program in individual Zoom chat rooms to say goodbye and wish one another well until they meet again. They will receive an email with information on their Zoom chat room web address and password.

In addition, a printed copy of the college commencement program will be mailed to them, as well as their diplomas, which will be mailed during the last week of June.

Penn State Berks invites graduates to celebrate their achievement by decorating their caps, which they will receive in the mail prior to May 9, and sending their photos to [email protected] for a Penn State Berks Instagram album. Graduates are also encouraged to share photos of in-home celebrations on social media using the hashtag #psuberks2020 and #PSUgrad.