First of several SEMO commencements to be held Saturday with COVID precautions

Southeast Missouri State University will host the first of several upcoming commencement ceremonies this weekend to recognize the university's new graduates.

The spring and summer 2020 commencement was postponed earlier this year due to COVID-19. And with the university's in-person portion of the semester coming to a close at the Thanksgiving break, Southeast is using Saturday to recognize spring and summer graduates and Nov. 21 for its winter commencement. Each commencement will be broken up into smaller groups as a COVID precaution, and there will be a limited number of tickets allocated to graduates to allow for social distancing. Masks will be required for all attendees. And for those who can't attend, a livestream will be made available at semo.edu/commencement.

Saturday's commencement ceremonies will recognize 1,624 students, and the Nov. 21 ceremonies will honor 700 graduates.

Southeast professors Lisa Bertrand and Peter Gorder will serve as keynote speakers for the morning and afternoon ceremonies Saturday.

The Nov. 21 commencement will follow the same morning and afternoon split, with Brad Deken, chairman of the Department of Engineering and Technology, serving as the morning speaker, and Tamara Zellars Buck, chairwoman of the Department of Mass Media, as the afternoon speaker.

Like many other things in life during the pandemic, the ceremonies will be different from what most are accustomed. Still, students will be recognized for their academic accomplishments. We offer our congratulations.