Photo of UW-La Crosse graduate

UWL held virtual ceremony prior to potential in-person event

They didn’t celebrate in the La Crosse Center as originally planned. But the more than 1,700 UW-La Crosse students who attended the Saturday, May 16, commencement still got recognized that morning — and they and their families could participate from the comfort of their own couch.

UWL’s first virtual “Couch Commencement” went online at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16, at The site contains a short message from Chancellor Joe Gow and others, along with photos and written messages of encouragement from the graduates.

An in-person ceremony on campus has been rescheduled for Saturday, Aug. 22, health and safety restrictions permitting.

On April 28, students planning to participate in spring ceremonies were asked to “sign the yearbook” for the online commencement. They were encouraged to upload an image — wearing UWL gear or a graduation cap was encouraged — and provide words of encouragement to family, professors or friends. The university also offered UWL frames, filters and stickers for Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat for graduates to share their graduation pride.

While the tribute is not ideal, it’s a good way for graduates to start their celebration, says Provost Betsy Morgan. “We are so proud of you and all you’ve done to get to this major milestone,” says Morgan. “We look forward to sharing this online celebration with you.”

ROTC commissioning for UWL students May 17
Nine UWL students were commissioned during a special virtual ceremony beginning via Zoom at 9 a.m. Sunday, May 17. Instead of one mass commissioning, each student was commissioned individually in a personal 30-minute ceremony with parents, siblings, grandparents and others close.