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MEDIA ADVISORY: Johns Hopkins Virtual Commencement Set for May 21

May 20, 2020
CONTACT: Chanapa Tantibanchachai
Office: 443-997-5056 / Cell: 928-458-9656
chanapa@jhu.edu @JHUmediareps

More than 9,000 Johns Hopkins University students will have their degrees conferred on Thursday, May 21 starting at 11 a.m. EDT, at the virtual commencement ceremony for all of the University’s divisions and campuses.

Reddit and Initialized Capital co-founder Alexis Ohanian, whose work in bringing communities closer together is especially pertinent as the world reimagines the meaning of connection, will be the commencement speaker (more background information here).

The ceremony will feature remarks from university President Ronald J. Daniels and president of the undergraduate class of 2020 Pavan Patel, and the conferring of degrees. The ceremony will also reveal a few surprise speakers.

After the degrees are conferred, each graduate’s name, degree, and major will scroll alphabetically alongside memories shared by the class.

Plans for the virtual ceremony, in an effort to capture the uniqueness of the times and the spirit of innovation at Johns Hopkins, were formulated with input from members of the Class of 2020, who submitted proposals through the University’s Idea Lab. Selected ideas have been incorporated into the ceremony, including a yearbook-style page of photos and video submissions from students.

To help graduates remotely celebrate their achievements, Johns Hopkins has also created social media filters, picture frames, and stickers for social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Those interested in joining the celebrations are encouraged to follow and use the hashtag #JHU2020 on social media. A dedicated Johns Hopkins Commencement Facebook page and Instagram account will post content the day of the ceremony.

In the absence of an in-person ceremony, many Johns Hopkins graduates are finding creative ways to celebrate and make their graduation special, including:

  • An engineering graduate and local friends in New Jersey doing a socially-distanced fashion show down a neighborhood street in caps and gowns constructed from unconventional materials such as shower curtains and duct tape
  • A graduate holding a post-commencement Zoom toast for family and friends across the country

About the Graduating Class (as of May 20):

The total number of earned degrees, certificates and diplomas awarded for the 2019-2020 academic year is expected to be about 9,000. That includes:

Krieger School of Arts and Sciences: 2,418

Whiting School of Engineering: 1,907

Carey Business School: 1,309

School of Education: 984

Peabody Institute: 211

School of Nursing:  216

Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies: 757

School of Medicine: 274

Bloomberg School of Public Health: 979


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