The College of St. Scholastica and University of Minnesota Duluth will host online commencement ceremonies this month.

The schools, which have held online-only classes for much of the spring semester to help curb the spread of COVID-19, both announced plans Thursday to honor graduating students.

On Sunday, St. Scholastica will release a video with a speech by President Barbara McDonald and the conferral of degrees. It can be viewed at or after it's posted at 2 p.m.

The college will also run a full-page advertisement in the News Tribune listing all the graduates' names and will send a copy of the page to all the graduates.

“We know that this was not the final semester or commencement that our students envisioned, but that doesn't take anything away from what they have achieved,” Steve Lyons, St. Scholastica's vice president for student affairs, said in a news release.

In addition to the virtual commencement, St. Scholastica is also planning to honor this semester's graduates at the traditional in-person commencement ceremony in December.

UMD will host its "virtual commencement" by releasing a video at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 16 with an recorded address by UMD Chancellor Lynn Black and student speakers Oliver Lee Cygan and Katie Keller.

The online program will begin with systemwide speeches from University of Minnesota System President Joan Gabel, Regent Chair Ken Powell and Regent Mike Kenyanya, a 2019 UMD alumnus. The video will be posted at

“While our current circumstances prevent us from celebrating as we have in the past, we look forward to honoring our graduates and are committed to recognizing their accomplishments,” Black said in a news release.

UMD said each graduate will have a slide with their name, photo and major in the video.

A total of 2,150 undergrads and 216 graduate students are set to graduate from UMD this year.

This story was updated at 9:30 a.m. May 8 to include that St. Scholastica graduates will also be invited to attend the December commencement ceremony. It was originally posted at 9:15 p.m. May 7.