NAU celebrating record-setting Class of 2020 on Friday

Commencement photo

Northern Arizona University’s largest graduating class will celebrate with a virtual commencement on Friday, May 8.

About 6,000 students have applied to graduate this semester.

Because of COVID-19, NAU is hosting a virtual ceremony; it will be available at 11 a.m. Friday, though the link will be available via anytime during the summer. Viewers in the first 24 hours can post using #naugrad and be featured on the commencement feed.

Students and their families can visit NAU’s commencement website for the link to experience the virtual commencement, including viewing their photos on-screen and hearing their names read aloud. The site will include a message and degree conferral from President Rita Cheng, along with Provost Diane Stearns and Graduate College Dean Maribeth Watwood.

“I am so proud of the Class of 2020,” Cheng said. “This class has achieved their aspirations and earned their degrees after years of dedication, hard work and—toward the very end—an unexpected time of global turmoil. It makes this achievement all the more remarkable. Our graduates are entering a new and exciting stage of life, one where they will apply the sum of their college experiences to a new career, in service to their communities and to each other.”

Of the 6,000 who have applied for graduation, 915 are graduate students from NAU’s 67 master’s programs and 24 doctoral programs, and more than 5,000 are undergraduate students from the Flagstaff Mountain Campus, statewide locations and online, plus 66 students who enrolled in NAU’s unique Personalized Learning program.

Breakdown of graduates by college:

  • College of Arts and Letters: 459
  • College of Education: 686
  • College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences: 424
  • College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences: 839
  • College of Health and Human Services: 912
  • College of Social and Behavioral Sciences: 1,379
  • Honors College: 138
  • NAU Online/Statewide: 365
  • NAU Yuma: 251
  • W. A. Franke College of Business: 704

Other notable facts about the Class of 2020:

  • The first graduating class of NAU’s new Indian Country criminal justice program finishes this semester.
  • The first doctoral candidate from the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences’ Ph.D. program, which was created in 2016, is graduating.
  • 317 people are graduating from the School of Nursing in the midst of the global pandemic.
  • Members of the first group of RISE fellows are graduating.
NAU Communications