CSU 2020 graduates take a Commencement Walk across the Oval

Photos by John Eisele and William A, Cotton, CSU Photography

After all the challenges and uncertainties of the past year, Colorado State University students graduating in 2020 received a very special gift before Fall Break: A week of glorious Fort Collins weather (with a bit of wind) to celebrate their accomplishments with a ceremonial Commencement Walk on the historic Oval.

Although the outdoor ceremony was held to comply with state and county public health requirements to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, it was also a fitting event for the final days of the University’s 150th anniversary year. In the earliest days, up through at least the 1950s, a walk across the Oval was a traditional part of Commencement.

All 2020 Ram grads, whether they received their degrees in May (when Commencement was postponed) or December, were invited to walk with their college and department on an assigned day and time. Everyone was required to wear a face covering and stay socially distant throughout the ceremony, removing masks only for a photo after they received their diplomas.

The ceremonies were livestreamed online for friends and families who were discouraged from attending in person, and those recordings are now available on the CSU Commencement page.

If 2020 graduates were unable to make it to campus this week, they are invited to walk in any future CSU commencement ceremony with their college.

In addition to the Oval Walk, 2020 graduates will also be honored with virtual celebrations during the week of Dec. 14, the last week of remote classes for the semester.