STATESBORO — Graduating students who want to participate in the spring 2020 virtual commencement ceremonies on May 8 and 9 must submit their participation forms by April 10, according to an email from Georgia Southern University.

In addition to the virtual ceremonies, graduates can choose to walk at either a rescheduled ceremony at a date-to-be-determined or the Dec. 11 and 12 commencement ceremonies, according to the email.

GS requests participants send a phonetic spelling of their name, a 4x6 jpg headshot and a message of thanks to someone they would like to acknowledge.

"You will soon see a form in the MyGeorgiaSouthern portal, asking you to submit information for your Spring 2020 Virtual Commencement. Candidates will receive a MyMessage with instructions on how to access the Virtual Commencement Participation Form and will be able to make submissions or edit previous submissions through April 10," reads the email.

Each graduate will have a personalized slide in the virtual ceremony with a faculty member reading their name aloud, according to the email.

On March 17, GS canceled the usual spring 2020 commencement ceremonies in response to COVID-19. The university later announced it would refund the $35 graduation fee to spring graduates along with other refunds due to campus closures.

The cancellation follows the CDC's recommendations to avoid having events with large groups of people. For more information on the coronavirus in Georgia and the state's response to the disease, visit the Georgia Department of Public Health's website.

Blakeley Bartee, The George-Anne Editor-in-Chief,

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