Kirby Commencements Continue at UMD

DULUTH, Minn. – Some UMD students planning to graduate next month are taking advantage of a program this week that gives them a more personal send off.

The Kirby Commencement allows students to get their pictures taken with their cap, gown, and diploma cover as if they were on stage during a commencement ceremony.  They also get the chance to meet and talk with school leaders, such as the dean of the program they are graduating from.

“They’re excited about graduating,” says Wendy Reed, dean of the Swenson College of Science and Engineering.  “They’re really proud of what they have accomplished, and it’s really fun to hear more about the stories they have had while they have been here, and also to hear what their next steps are, what they are going to be doing.  So we have had a lot of fun.”

The Kirby Commencement started in 2021 after the in-person commencement programs were canceled due to COVID.  Reed says the popularity of it made it an easy choice to bring it back.  “The students asked for this, we (the faculty) asked to do this again, so I think this a tradition that will continue.”

Chancellor Lendley Black, who is retiring this summer, will take part on Friday, April 22, from 11 to 2.  In-person commencement programs are set for May 7 at Amsoil Arena.

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