Florida State to celebrate virtual summer commencement July 31

Florida State University men’s basketball Coach Leonard Hamilton will headline FSU’s virtual summer commencement ceremony as the keynote speaker Friday, July 31.

President John Thrasher will preside over the ceremony, which will be streamed on the university’s website, Facebook and YouTube channels and simulcast locally on 4FSU (Comcast Channel 4). The ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time. Links will be available at commencement.fsu.edu.

“Although we cannot be together at this time, the FSU community can still celebrate our graduates through the shared experience of our virtual ceremony,” Thrasher said. “Our graduates have worked hard to finish their degrees despite the challenges of a global pandemic, and I’m exceptionally proud of their dedication and resilience.”

Florida State will award degrees to 2,510 graduates this semester: 1,696 bachelor’s degrees, 611 master’s degrees, 165 doctorates, 2 juris doctor degrees and 36 juris master’s degrees.

Names will briefly appear at the end of the virtual ceremony and can be found in the digital commencement program that will be posted online at commencement.fsu.edu prior to the ceremony.  In addition, individual colleges will read the names of their graduates in separate videos to be posted July 31 at commencement.fsu.edu.

Hamilton recently completed his 18th season as FSU’s men’s basketball coach, leading the Seminoles to their first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference regular season championship. In March, he was named ACC Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. The all-time winningest coach in school history, Hamilton also is a noted advocate for cancer research — a disease that has touched him throughout his life.

“I’m excited that Coach Hamilton will deliver the commencement address this summer,” Thrasher said. “He and his team had an incredible season with an abrupt ending due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is a wonderful ambassador for FSU with an unwavering commitment to the university’s academic mission, and I know he’ll have an interesting perspective to share on overcoming adversity.”

The virtual ceremony will incorporate many of the traditional customs associated with the usual on-campus commencement exercises, such as an opening processional to “Pomp and Circumstance,” the playing of the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, the official conferring of graduate and undergraduate academic degrees, and the turning of tassels on the graduates’ caps.

Thrasher and Hamilton will be joined at the virtual ceremony by a few university administrators in full academic regalia. Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Sally McRorie, Dean of Undergraduate Studies Joe O’Shea, Dean of the Graduate School Mark Riley and Dean of the Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship Susan Fiorito will participate in the ceremony while observing social distancing guidelines.

For more information, visit commencement.fsu.edu.