More than 220 University of Northwestern — St. Paul (UNW) students are set to receive their degrees this weekend as countless hours of study, research, collaboration, and application are celebrated at a virtual commencement ceremony on Friday, December 18. While UNW typically hosts in-person commencement proceedings in Knight Performance Hall on campus, Executive Order 20-99 issued by Minnesota Governor Walz in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced the university to celebrate its December 2020 graduates in a virtual format.
Northwestern anticipates awarding a total of 222 degrees, with 177 being baccalaureate honors. UNW will also confer 26 master’s degrees and 19 associate’s diplomas. The top three undergraduate academic degrees conferred from the fall semester are nursing (25), business (19), and education (18). The Department of Theology and Ministry, and the Department of Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Law Enforcement will also feature graduation numbers in double digits. The 26 master’s degrees are being awarded from seven different programs, ranging from divinity and education to business administration and ministry leadership.
Friday’s virtual ceremony will include remarks from president Dr. Alan Cureton, provost Dr. Janet Sommers, and multiple faculty members, as well as a COVID-safe musical performance by the Northwestern Choir under the direction of Timothy Sawyer. Mr. Wayne Pederson, a former Northwestern Media on-air host and executive, is the featured commencement speaker. Since leaving Northwestern in 2002, Mr. Peterson has held leadership positions with the National Religious Broadcasters, Christian Music Broadcasters, Moody Network, and HCJB Global.
The virtual commencement ceremony can be viewed here . Prior to the formal 6 p.m. start, a 5:45 p.m. pre-ceremony show will feature graduate photos and quotes.