On Friday, May 29, and Sunday, May 31, Augsburg University celebrated commencement virtually. Taking precautions to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, Augsburg was among numerous institutions nationally that hosted virtual celebrations to recognize graduating students. The streamed online event opened with speeches from Provost Karen Kaivola and President Paul Pribbenow. Personalize slides for graduates included photos and messages that the students submitted. Friends and family posted comments to the video stream as they watched the event. Students took to social media to share their graduation posts using the hashtag #AuggieGrad.
Once it’s again safe to host large gatherings, Augsburg will plan an in-person ceremony for the Class of 2020 that will include many more familiar commencement traditions.
ONE DAY IN MAY
Black artists, along with Indigenous and other students and community members of color, led an art campaign to uplift One Day in May during Augsburg’s sesquicentennial celebration.This year’s commencement celebration featured a central theme, chosen in April, that connected defining moments in Augsburg’s history with its contemporary reality. Uplifting the university’s longstanding commitments to equity and inclusion, the theme “68/20: One Day in May” called the university community to explore the actions and outcomes of events in 1968 to consider their relevance for 2020.
Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Augsburg canceled classes on May 15, 1968, and hosted a series of workshops and lectures. Augsburg faculty and local Black community members led conversations focused on racism, politics, power, education, and violence—significant tensions in American life in 1968. This year, Augsburg presented honorary degrees during the virtual commencement, recognizing two leaders of the historic One Day in May in 1968: the Hon. LaJune Thomas Lange ’75 and Mahmoud El-Kati.
Augsburg owes a debt of gratitude to the leaders of One Day in May, an event that continues to inform and inspire the university community to engage in efforts for equity and justice. Their contributions to our society and to Augsburg resonated strongly in the virtual commencement ceremonies, which took place just days after George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police.
Black artists, along with Indigenous and other students and community members of color, led an art campaign to uplift One Day in May during Augsburg’s sesquicentennial celebration. Hear audio recordings from the event in 1968, and see more One Day in May art at inside.augsburg.edu/one-day-in-may