UMass to celebrate historic Class of 2020 in various ways

BOSTON – The University of Massachusetts Class of 2020, which made history this spring when it was forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to complete its studies remotely, will be celebrated in a variety of ways by the Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell and Medical School campuses this month.

About 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students will graduate this year, with more than 80 percent projected to stay in Massachusetts to build their lives and careers, fuel the workforce, and transform communities through service.

“The members of the Class of 2020 will always hold a special place in University of Massachusetts history,” said UMass President Marty Meehan. “In the face of fear and doubt they persevered and achieved their goals. They should be proud. Their families and friends should be very proud. We are all proud.”

“I also want to express my gratitude to the leadership, faculty, and staff of each campus, who have demonstrated exemplary dedication and ingenuity in moving our students to degree completion during this unprecedented challenge,” Meehan said.

UMass Class of 2020 celebration details

UMass Amherst

On Friday, May 8 at 4:30 p.m., UMass Amherst will host an online celebration of this year’s graduates. The event will be available via During the 15-minute video celebration, UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy will host a tribute that honors the graduating class. Featured speakers include President Meehan; student speaker Grace Jung, a biochemistry and molecular biology major from Wakefield, Massachusetts; and UMass Amherst alumnus John Jacobs ’90, co-founder and chief creative optimist of Life Is Good. Jacobs will deliver a full address as keynote speaker for the class during an in-person commencement at a later date. The hashtags #UMassTogether and #UMass2020 are being encouraged on social media. For more information, visit

UMass Boston

UMass Boston will honor the 2020 graduating class with a formal, in-person commencement celebration at a date to be determined. The originally scheduled commencement dates of May 28-29 will be acknowledged with a special video message for graduates and their families. The 2020 graduates will receive their diplomas in the mail this summer as a “down payment” on the celebration of their tremendous achievement. For more information, visit

UMass Dartmouth

UMass Dartmouth will congratulate its 2020 graduates of all programs via social media and email on May 8. Among those who will be providing congratulatory videos are Chancellor Robert Johnson, President Meehan, faculty, staff and alumni. Live commencement ceremonies are being planned for Oct. 9 and 10, social distancing guidelines allowing. For more information, visit

UMass Lowell

UMass Lowell will hold a virtual commencement ceremony for its 2020 graduates on Friday, May 29, at 5 p.m. Members of the Class of 2020, their friends and families will gather online as UML celebrates their academic and personal achievements and confers 4,400 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Speakers will include Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, President Marty Meehan, UMass Trustee Chairman Rob Manning, Student Speaker Rachel Record, a criminal justice major from Pepperell,and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. All graduates will have their own personalized slide with a special message and photo, along with their name, degree and accolades. Attendees will be urged to use #UML2020 on social media to join in the celebration. The campus plans to hold a future on-campus event for the Class of 2020 when large gatherings are permitted. For more information, visit

UMass Medical School

The UMass Medical School was the first medical school in the nation to accelerate and hold early Commencement for 135 new physicians in the Class of 2020. A virtual graduation took place on March 31, enabling UMass Medical School’s newly minted doctors to join the frontlines of COVID-19 relief efforts.  The School of Medicine’s virtual commencement can be viewed at this link:

The UMass Medical School’s Graduate School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will hold virtual Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 31, the originally scheduled Commencement date. Speakers will include Chancellor Michael F. CollinsProvost Terence R. FlottePresident Meehan as well as the deans and class speakers from each school.

The Graduate School of Nursing will be at 10 a.m. viaUMassMed.ZOOM.US/J/97999763581

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences will be at 12 p.m. viaUMASSMED.ZOOM.US/J/97999763581

For more information, visit