UTEP students who completed course work in the Fall and were hoping to be able to actually walk at a commencement ceremony will need to wait until May 2021 (at the earliest).  UTEP officially announced they have postponed the ceremony that is typically held in December of every year.

As of now, the university is planning on holding one large commencement ceremony at the Sun Bowl in May in which Fall, Spring, and Summer graduates will all be allowed to walk across the stage and take a figurative (and may even literal) bow and be recognized for a job well done.

On a personal level, aside from those that have lost friends and family members and have been willing but unable to work, my heart goes out to all of these students who can’t truly celebrate their academic success the most.  Whether they are graduating from high school or college, the feeling of shaking hands with the Dean or Superintendent and being handed a diploma is special.  For many El Pasoans, this isn’t just a personal honor, they’re representing their families and friends as well.  For others, this is their first major achievement, and they deserve to be celebrated.  It’s heartbreaking that such a momentous occasion has had to be muted as a result of this pandemic.

My hope is that those that couldn’t have a graduation ceremony last year and this year are able to somehow replicate that event and feeling as soon as it is safe to do so.  If you know a recent or soon to be grad, let them know you’re proud of them and do whatever you can to make them feel special.  These students have handled this situation with grace.

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