“I’m not just addressing graduates, I’m addressing a class of leaders,” Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks told University of Maryland Global Campus degree recipients in a commencement address delivered via video during the university’s 2020 virtual winter commencement program, which launched Saturday, Dec. 19.
The University of Maryland Global Campus Class of 2020 winter graduates attended commencement virtually this year, but that did not stop them from celebrating. Each year, the mortarboards atop graduation caps are adorned by inspired grads, showing their creativity and telling the story of their individual educational journey. This year was not any different. Several weeks prior to the virtual commencement ceremony, graduates were invited to participate in a cap decorating challenge.
Invitations went out to UMGC winter graduates and voting opened on Nov. 18. Grads were able to share their entries on their social media channels to encourage their friends and family to vote for their cap. Voting was encouraged throughout the challenge period, which ended on Dec. 16. Anyone could vote once per cap in a 24-hour period and return to vote again after 24 hours. With 91 caps entered, these graduates collectively gathered 17,897 votes.
The winner was announced on Dec. 19, the morning of virtual commencement, and was featured on the UMGC virtual commencement website. Marcus Johnson received 4,256 votes for his inspired cap featuring the phrase, “Smart Enough to Save the Day.” Michelle Freeman’s cap took second place with 3,181 votes and Christina Holt’s cap gathered 2,560 votes to place third.
Freeman said the creation of her cap was a family effort; she got help from her niece and nephew to complete it. “I thought this was a great gesture on behalf of the university to get us excited about our ceremony. Although we could not have a formal ceremony due to the pandemic, this friendly competition built up momentum day by day to our virtual ceremony,” she shared.
Holt, who encouraged people to vote for her through her social media channels, said she entered the competition to showcase her crochet artistry. “I am amazed at how many people came forward to support me during this competition and I am appreciative of every vote I received!”
While Johnson has bragging rights and is featured at the virtual commencement ceremony, all participating graduates are winners, finishing 2020 with a milestone accomplishment.
Susana Hernandez brought good grades home from her Maryland high school, but school officials never nudged her toward college. Her immigrant parents wanted her to continue studying, but they didn’t know how the U.S. higher education system worked. Hernandez, a teenager at the time, was daunted by scholarship and financial aid applications.
It took Hernandez 15 years after her high school graduation to return to a classroom—at University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)—pursuing a Bachelor of Science in business management, with a minor in small business entrepreneurship. At UMGC’s 2020 Virtual Winter Commencement, not only will Hernandez graduate cum laude and as a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Tau Chapter Honor Society, but she will give the student commencement speech.
For Lauren Warner, the agony of the Coronavirus pandemic has had at least a couple of silver linings.
Warner, who cares for her wounded Army veteran husband, completed a UMGC Master of Science degree in management this semester with the financial help of a Pillars of Strength scholarship aimed at caregivers like her.
Online Ceremony to Include Keynote Address by Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks
Program to Go Live Beginning Saturday, Dec. 19, at 12 p.m. EST
Adelphi, Md. (Dec. 7) — University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), the nation’s largest online public university will premiere its special 2020 Virtual Winter Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 19, beginning at 12 p.m. Eastern standard time. The approximately 25-minute program, which honors the more than 7,500 stateside graduates worldwide who completed their degree requirements in summer or fall 2020, will be available for on-demand viewing by graduates, their families and friends anytime—and from anywhere.
His Keynote Is Part of University’s First-Ever Virtual Commencement Launched May 16
“This is certainly not the graduation day that any of you anticipated or hoped for, but it in no way lessens your accomplishments or diminishes your achievements,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in a commencement address to University of Maryland Global Campus graduates delivered via video during the university’s first-ever virtual commencement ceremony, which launched Saturday, May 16.
Michael Kelly finished his college career nine years after starting at University of Maryland Global Campus in a most untraditional way—by taking a class required of incoming freshmen. And, he did it as a first responder, a firefighter/paramedic on the front lines of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, working in one of Baltimore’s toughest neighborhoods.
Like many students at University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), Nneka Nzegwu completed her studies while working at a full-time job and taking care of a child. When she talks about the obstacles she faced while earning her degree, however, she is referring to something far more complicated.
For Nancy Malson, the dream began in elementary school. She would sit under the weeping willow tree in the front yard of her Baltimore home and write books. She would get cardboard and, for each one, draw a cover.
When Gale Seaton takes part in virtual commencement at University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), she will acquire a long-sought bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Even more, she will re-celebrate her successful quest to change a Maryland murder-for-hire law.