Graduation 2020

Dear Graduates:

Congratulations to the class of 2020!

Dr. DuvallThe Spring 2020 semester has been unprecedented for all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of billions of people worldwide. At UNM, pretty much everything went remote on March 13. Students, faculty, and staff have done remarkably well in adapting to the circumstances. I congratulate everyone associated with our department for your persistence, professionalism, and accomplishment in maintaining educational continuity despite the difficulty of switching everything online, virtually overnight.

For everyone who is graduating this spring, the pandemic means that you and your families are not able to experience a graduation ceremony such as past graduates have had. I know that many of you and your families have been looking forward to the pomp and circumstance of graduation, and that it is a disappointment that there will be no departmental ceremony this year. The decision to cancel the ceremony was difficult, but required for us to meet our responsibilities to help address the public health crisis.

We can’t replace an in-person ceremony. We’re doing three things to recognize your accomplishments and provide some measure of closure to your degree program.

First, anyone who is graduating in Spring 2020 is hereby formally invited to participate in any future, in-person ceremonies we will have. Graduation is an important event that many people share with family and friends, and we want you to have the chance to participate in an in-person event. Just email us at any upcoming spring to let us know you and your guests will be coming, so that we’ll be able to host you properly.

Second, we are producing an on-paper graduation program similar to what we would make in normal years, and will send several copies to you. Physical souvenirs can help memorialize important events, and may help you to share your accomplishment with family and friends who live far away. Watch for your copies in the mail by the end of June.

Finally, what follows on this web page is a virtual ceremony that you can share as widely as you’d like. Below, you’ll find brief video messages from faculty and alumni, and information on our department’s Spring 2020 graduates, including the winners of our annual awards.

Best regards, and best of luck as you move into the next phase of your career!


Chris Duvall
Professor and Chair
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies