Ohio State’s class of 2020 will graduate virtually this year, the university announced Friday, again charting new territory following a series of unprecedented events due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
After an original announcement March 17 that commencement would be postponed, the ceremony will be livestreamed on its original date, and about 12,000 diplomas will be sent in the mail. Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver the address.
“While we will not be able to link arms in Ohio Stadium right now, we will recognize your achievements virtually with your families and friends as we confer your degrees,” University President Michael V. Drake said in a video announcement Friday.
The move to a virtual commencement comes after the suspension of in-person classes for spring and summer semesters due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The university will still hold a “physical recognition” of the event at a later date, according to the release. The event will be planned with the help of graduating students.
The ceremony will be broadcasted from Ohio Stadium and will include musical performances, special guests, speeches from Drake and other university officials as well as Cook’s commencement address.
Cook, who has been CEO since August 2011, was at the helm of Apple when the university’s Digital Flagship initiative launched in fall 2018. As part of the partnership, each first-year student receives an iPad and Apple Pencil to use for coursework.
“The collaboration has led to a comprehensive, university-wide digital learning initiative that supports educational innovation for students and economic development opportunities for the community,” the release said.
Apple has also sourced and delivered more than 10 million masks to medical workers in the United States and donated tens of millions of dollars to support the COVID-19 medical response and recovery efforts, according to the release.
The commencement stream will occur at its scheduled time, beginning at noon on May 3. More information will be announced in coming weeks, according to the release.