A Commencement With 9,000 UConn Huskies Present in Spirit

President Thomas Katsouleas speaks with Letita Naigles, left, University marshall, and Del Siegle, mace bearer, before the virtual Commencement ceremony broadcast from the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on May 9, 2020.
President Thomas Katsouleas speaks with Letita Naigles, left, University marshall, and Del Siegle, mace bearer, before the virtual Commencement ceremony broadcast from the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on May 9, 2020. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

On Saturday, May 9, nearly 9,000 University of Connecticut students – undergraduate, graduate, and professional – were awarded their degrees at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts – without any of them being in the building.

The necessities imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic meant that UConn would be conferring degrees without a traditional ceremony, but that didn’t mean there wouldn’t be a ceremony.

Streaming live on the University’s YouTube channel from Jorgensen starting at noon, a commencement celebration like no other in school history featured on-stage remarks from President Thomas Katsouleas and Board of Trustees Chairman Daniel Toscano ’87 (BUS), taped remarks from students, Gov. Ned Lamont, and women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, and a scrolling roster of every graduate’s name.

In these images captured by University Photographer Peter Morenus, the improvisation and Husky pride of that day are chronicled: