News & Media

UNCG to Honor Class of 2020 with Virtual Celebration

The Class of 2020 will be remembered as perhaps the most resilient graduating class in UNC Greensboro history.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, graduating students were forced to leave campus in mid-March and finish their last semester online. They have had to adapt quickly to virtual capstone projects, presentations, and dissertation defenses, while facing economic challenges, health concerns, and uncertainty about the future. 

The in-person commencement ceremony has been postponed, and the University is working to identify a future date to hold this traditional ceremony. Nevertheless, the Class of 2020 deserves to be recognized and celebrated for its many achievements and the way it has responded to this global crisis. 

Based on survey responses from students, the University has planned a special virtual celebration to honor the nearly 3,000 students who will earn their degrees in May. 

The online festivities will take place May 4-11. Here’s what you need to know:

The University’s news site – – will transform into the online hub of the virtual celebration.  

The website will include profiles of graduating students, video messages from Chancellor Gilliam and Provost Dunn, and other special content honoring our graduates. 

UNCG’s social media channels will have new GIFs, stickers, and frames, and all the Class of 2020 content you’re looking for. 

Share your favorite UNCG memories and celebrate your accomplishments on social media using the hashtags #UNCGGrad, #UNCGWay, and #SpartansTogether. UNCG will share Spartans’ posts throughout the week. 

Instagram will have themed story templates – access them in the the #UNCGGrad highlights on the @UNCG page. Themed GIFs and animated stickers are available to add to posts. Facebook frames are also available here and here. And you can virtually “turn your tassel” with a new Instagram and Facebook story filter. The Instagram filter is available here, and the Facebook filter is available here.

Each college and school will celebrate their students in unique ways. 

Check in with your college or school to make sure you’re connected to their celebrations.

The annual Red Carpet Reception for new graduates will go virtual. 

Graduating students, Spartans of Promise, and other young alumni leaders will have the opportunity to give a toast to the Class of 2020 using UNCG Alumni’s social media channels. Alumni, faculty, and staff are also encouraged to participate by giving their well-wishes and pieces of advice as “Words of Wisdom”videos or quotes on social media.  

The Alumni team will host its traditional #UNCGNewAlum photo and video contest throughout the week. The office will accept graduation photos that have already been taken on campus or photos using a virtual UNCG Zoom background or Instagram sticker. The Alumni office will also spread Spartan spirit by accepting videos from students singing the chorus of the UNCG alma mater (which can be entered into the #UNCGNewAlum contest). Make sure to use the #UNCGNewAlum hashtag and tag @UNCGAlumni on social media. Please be sure your social media profile is public to enter your submission. Learn more and check out the Zoom backgrounds at

Finally, every graduating student will receive an email from the UNCG Alumni team to claim their free Class of 2020 T-shirt, featuring an original design celebrating all 2020 grads from all University schools. 

The UNCG Mobile app will launch a special “Celebrate 2020” persona. 

This new persona will feature a variety of content – videos, profiles of graduating students, and social media posts – from our virtual celebration of the Class of 2020. 

In addition, UNCG Mobile has launched a UNCG sticker pack for Apple devices that lets you add UNCG landmarks, icons, and more to your iOS text messages and FaceTime calls. To access the sticker pack, make sure you’ve updated your UNCG Mobile app to the latest version, and look for the #letsgoG sticker image with your other sticker packs on your text screen.

The University has also planned some non-virtual ways to honor grads. 

The names of all graduating students will be printed in the Greensboro News & Record, Charlotte Observer, and News & Observer on May 10. On May 8 and 9, Greensboro’s downtown buildings will light up in blue and gold to celebrate both UNCG and N.C. A&T graduates. Last but not least, UNCG will fly an airplane with a special graduation banner over Greensboro and Raleigh on May 8. The best time to go outside and see the plane will be shared as the date approaches.

UNCG expects to award 2,211 bachelor’s degrees, 616 master’s degrees, 129 doctoral degrees, and 12 specialist in education degrees. Approximately 116 of these degrees will be awarded to international students. 

[Original Story by University Communications]