17:57 PM

Ohio State University to host special spring commencement, virtual and live streamed

Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver address

Ohio State President Michael V. Drake today announced that the university will hold a historic virtual commencement on May 3 with Apple CEO Tim Cook delivering the commencement address.

The live streamed event will occur at the originally scheduled time, beginning at noon on Sunday, May 3. Approximately 12,000 diplomas are expected to be awarded.

In light of COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings, there will be no students or guests in Ohio Stadium. The graduates will receive their degrees by mail, and, importantly, the university will hold a physical recognition event at a later date. Members of the Class of 2020 will be actively involved in the scheduling and planning of that event.

“We are so proud of everything you have accomplished -- and how you have stepped up and remained strong during this time of uncertainty,” Drake said in a video announcing the event. “Just as you were headed into the homestretch and looking forward to walking across the field in Ohio Stadium on May 3, the world changed for you and for all of us. But you adapted and persevered.”

“While we will not be able to link arms in Ohio Stadium right now, we will recognize your achievements virtually with your families and friends as we confer your degrees.”

The ceremony broadcast will include Drake and university officials in traditional commencement regalia at Ohio Stadium (practicing social distancing), musical performances, special guests, and the commencement address.

“I am delighted to welcome Tim Cook as our spring commencement speaker,” Drake said. “We are grateful for Mr. Cook’s participation in this important tradition and know his unique insights will guide Buckeyes as they continue to innovate the future.”

As CEO of Apple, Cook has overseen the introduction of some of the world’s most innovative products and services. A champion of the right to privacy and an advocate for equality and opportunity through education, he has shown how one of the world’s leading businesses can lead with its values. As part of its COVID-19 response, Apple has sourced and delivered over 10 million masks to medical workers in the United States and has committed tens of millions of dollars in donations to support the medical response and recovery efforts.

Ohio State has a unique technology-enhanced education and research partnership with Apple through the university’s Digital Flagship initiative. The collaboration has led to a comprehensive, university-wide digital learning initiative that supports educational innovation for students and economic development opportunities for the community.

Additional details will be announced in the coming weeks.

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