University Operating Status

Graduates of Rutgers-New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences will experience many of the typical traditions in a decidedly atypical way at University Commencement: A Virtual Celebration on Sunday, May 31, at 2 p.m. Together, they will be watching to share in a ceremony in a time of social distancing that continues to keep students apart.

The virtual celebration will be streamed via the University Commencement websiteFacebook and YouTube.

The celebration’s opening is designed to inspire unity and drive pride and excitement featuring videos submitted by graduates. Their stories will be complemented by inspirational messages from N.J. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez and Gov. Phil Murphy.

A short film celebrating the Rutgers University Class of 2020 will speak to the graduates’ experience in this unprecedented moment.

University Commencement will be complete with a traditional ceremony. Award-winning NBC News journalist Lester Holt will deliver an address from his home studio. President Robert Barchi will confer degrees on more than 13,000 graduates during his last commencement as his tenure at Rutgers comes to an end in June. He will be joined by Rutgers University-New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher Molloy and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian L. Strom at the university’s 254th Anniversary Commencement celebration.

And yes, New Jersey, the storied cannon will fire (virtually) to signify the official degree conferral and mark the end of the ceremony.

Frequently Asked Questions About the May 31 Celebration:

Is registration required for the virtual commencement? 


Is there a place I can learn about some of this year’s graduates?

Profiles on this year's remarkable and inspiring graduating class can be found here.

Are there social media channels that should be followed in advance or during? 

Graduates and their families are encouraged to follow the University Commencement social media channels on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Snapchat (@rucommencement).

Are there additional ways that graduates, their families and the Rutgers community can show their Scarlet Pride?

Facebook profile frames, Facebook camera frames, Instagram AR stickers, Giphy stickers can all be accessed here.

Are there established social media hashtags?

#RutgersStrong and #RU2020

Will there be a traditional commencement program?

A digital program book will be made available on the commencement website starting on commencement day.

Will the virtual ceremony be archived?

It will be available on and YouTube.

If I have additional questions about the virtual commencement, who should I contact?