**From the office of Texas Tech University President Lawrence Schovanec**
Dear Texas Tech University Faculty and Staff:
We could not be more proud of the accomplishments of our May and August 2020 graduating students, especially as they have overcome the special challenges of these recent months.
When we announced our Texas Tech Commitment last week, we made a pledge to our campus community to provide you with a safe environment designed to protect you and those you love. That pledge includes a commitment to respond to and respect guidance issued from state and federal officials as we continue to face uncertainty in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To hold the traditional in-person commencement ceremony in August creates tremendous challenges given the restrictions that remain in place for large gatherings. Our schedule of course offerings in the fall required special planning to ensure social distancing. Those restrictions make the usual indoor ceremonies in the United Supermarkets Arena in which we individually recognize each graduate impossible, given the large group of students, families, faculty, and staff who would be present. Some of these same issues, plus the concern of August heat, made an outdoor ceremony unfeasible. So, with a focus on the health and safety of our graduates and their families, we have determined that we will not be able to hold an in-person commencement ceremony this August.
Our August 2020 commencement ceremony will be held virtually on Saturday, August 8, at 9:30 a.m. The Commencement Office will share additional information in the weeks ahead, and you can check for updates on the commencement website.
We are committed to hosting a special celebration for both our May and August graduates as soon as it is safe to do so. Graduating students whose ceremonies were and will be held virtually will be contacted by our Commencement Office concerning possible future face-to-face ceremony dates and locations.
Thank you for your patience, perseverance, and continued commitment to what it means to be a part of the Texas Tech family.
Texas Tech University