Students in Texas A&M’s Veterinary Class of 2020 represent a couple of milestones for the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM).
Not only will the students slated to graduate May 6 be the 100th class of Aggie veterinarians, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they will earn the distinction of being the first class of Aggie veterinarians to harness the power of the internet to celebrate their commencement.
On May 6, instead of walking across the stage of Rudder Theater, the 132 graduating members of the Veterinary Class of 2020 will log into Zoom to watch a video that features some of the most treasured traditions of their graduation ceremony.
“We wanted to provide our veterinary students with something memorable, understanding that while we can’t necessarily fill the void that will happen when they do not actually get to walk across the stage and receive their degrees, we can do something to recognize their accomplishments,” said Dr. Karen Cornell, CVM associate dean for professional programs. “We’re working to make this as close to the experience of the real graduation ceremony as we can under the circumstances.
“We had discussed a lot of options for handling graduation, and while we would hope that our students would come back to College Station for a ceremony, realistically, we realized that it’s not very likely that they would all be able to return,” Cornell said. “We felt that the best way to ensure that everyone can participate and celebrate together was to move to a virtual ceremony.”
In addition to the traditional “pomp and circumstance” affiliated with graduation, CVM administrators, led by Cornell, have worked to create a more personalized experience for the graduates.
This includes the DVM candidates being mailed their regalia to wear during the ceremony and when the ceremony gets to the point in the program where Cornell administers to candidates the Veterinarian’s Oath, the broadcast will go live, allowing every member in the class to recite the oath together.
“It means a lot to me and to the class that the administration decided to host a virtual ceremony for us,” said Taylor Adams, president of the class of 2020. “With many other veterinary schools are canceling graduation or graduating their fourth-year students early, we are very excited to get to celebrate virtually with our families and classmates.
“I know that this virtual ceremony has required a lot of hard work during an already challenging time, and we are grateful for our administrators’ efforts to make our graduation day special,” she said. “It is absolutely not the way we hoped to graduate, but commemorating this day and this moment that we have all looked forward to for so long will be very nice. It will definitely be a great story to tell later.”
Family members and other loved ones will be able to watch the festivities from home, as the virtual graduation ceremony will be streamed via Facebook Live on the CVM’s Facebook page (@tamuvetmed) and on the DVM Class of 2020 website.
Those interested in watching can visit the CVM’s Facebook page and click “going” on the DVM Class of 2020 Virtual Graduation event.
The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m.
Contact Information: Jennifer Gauntt, Director of CVM Communications, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; firstname.lastname@example.org; 979-862-4216