LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — No less than 65 current and former UNLV student-athletes were eligible to walk across the Thomas & Mack Center stage Saturday to take part in the university’s Spring Commencement Ceremonies.
Instead, the new grads are spread across the world because of circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the honorees were recognized remotely by their family, coaches and members of the UNLV Athletics department Friday with an online Senior Sendoff Ceremony.
In addition, all were sent a special personalized graduation graphic to share on social media and many of those currently living in Southern Nevada were visited by a staff caravan for a socially distant but in-person way to celebrate their big day.
“We are so proud of the entire UNLV Class of 2020 and especially our very own student-athlete Rebels,” said UNLV Director of Athletics Desiree Reed-Francois. “They’ve achieved unparalleled academic success while demonstrating resilience through these unprecedented challenges."
The list of 65 includes Rebels who wrapped up their course work this semester as well as those on track to complete their degrees during the summer sessions.
Some graduates, including a number of the program-record 21 football players on the list, have remaining eligibility and will compete for their respective teams again next season while pursuing either a master's or second bachelor's degree.
Overall, more than 3,100 UNLV undergraduate and graduate students were eligible to participate in this year's Spring Commencement Ceremonies, which are now postponed to a later date.
The Class of 2020 hails from 36 states and 49 foreign countries, many are the first in their family to graduate from college, and well over half – 63 percent – are from ethnically diverse backgrounds. This year’s class ranges in age from 19 to 80, with an average age of 27. Since 1964, UNLV has awarded more than 146,000 degrees.