In One-of-a-Kind Commencement, Illinois Tech Virtually Celebrates the Class of 2020


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On Saturday, May 16, Illinois Institute of Technology held a commencement ceremony unlike any of the 150 that came before it—an event that celebrated a milestone moment for the 1,969 students who showed their resiliency to reach graduation in the midst of a global pandemic.

Illinois Tech’s 151st Commencement was held virtually and streamed live by nearly 2,000 people that morning. It captured more than 12,000 views during the weekend of the event.

The Opening Ceremony featured Illinois Tech President Alan W. Cramb and Provost Peter Kilpatrick leading the ceremony and conferring degrees live from the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship on Mies Campus.

“As the graduating class of 2019–2020 prepares to meet a world unlike any we have known before, we understand that your diploma will also represent something a little different this year,” Cramb noted in his address. “It will represent a determination to impact positive change across your community. It will represent a willingness to adapt to any obstacle in your way to achieve your goals. It will represent a selflessness to put the needs of those around you first.”

The ceremony also included seven videos produced for the event, including remarks from Illinois Tech Board of Trustees Chairman Michael P. Galvin (LAW ’78); Sherrie Littlejohn (M.S. CS ’82), chairman of the Illinois Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors and an Illinois Tech trustee; and Associate Professor of Biology Nicholas Menhart, University Faculty Council chair. Additional videos celebrated the university’s essential staff, and included personal videos submitted by Illinois Tech faculty and staff, as well as by members of the graduating class.

You can watch the Opening Ceremony in its entirety online.

Each of Illinois Tech’s colleges also produced videos celebrating their graduates. Access those videos, the Opening Ceremony program, and all other content from the virtual ceremony on the university’s commencement website.

Photo: Illinois Tech Provost Peter Kilpatrick [left] and President Alan W. Cramb preside over the university's virtual Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16, 2020, at the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship.