Class of 2020 Virtual Celebration

Visit the Virtual Celebration

Class of 2020 Virtual Celebration Events

Measures required to protect the health and safety of our students and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic have postponed SUNY Cortland’s traditional, on-campus spring Commencement for the Class of 2020. The university, however, feels that, during this uncertain time, recognizing the accomplishments of our bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates is more important than ever.

To that end, we hope to accommodate the varying needs of our future alumni by providing multiple opportunities for them to celebrate their success with friends and family. 

SUNY Cortland's Class of 2020 Virtual Celebration consists of the following three elements:

Virtual Class of 2020 celebration

From Tuesday, May 26, to Friday, May 29, 2020, SUNY Cortland will host an online recognition event with video presentations, interactive celebration activities and a listing of this year’s applicants for degrees.

Activities include:

  • “Tip Your Cap” Tuesday
  • Videos
  • CortlandCongrats
  • "Where you belong" Wednesday
  • "Throwback" Thursday
  • Trivia
  • "Final Falsetto" Friday
  • Virtual Toast to the Class of 2020

Visit the Get Involved page for more information about the week's activities and learn how to participate. The Commencement Graphics page has resources you can use to enhance your images.

Get Involved Commencement Graphics

SUNY Cortland Class of 2020 commemorative mailing

All confirmed graduates will receive a packet in the mail this fall that includes:

  • Message from SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum
  • Diploma cover, if purchased through the online ticket reservation process
  • Class of 2020 celebration booklet
  • Honors tassel for those undergraduates who qualify
  • “I Left My Mark” pin for those who donated to the undergraduate senior class gift

Participation in spring 2021 on-campus Commencement

  • The specific date, time and place of a separate on-campus commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 will depend upon the number of graduates and families who indicate they plan to participate in spring 2021.
  • A survey will be sent to all members of the Class of 2020 at the end of May to assess interest in the 2021 on-campus ceremony. We urge all graduating seniors and graduate students to complete the survey.

Undergraduate FAQs

How will the undergraduate Class of 2020 be celebrated?

The following activities have been planned in celebration of the Class of 2020:

  1. Virtual celebration from Tuesday, May 26, to Friday, May 29, 2020
  2. SUNY Cortland Class of 2020 commemorative mailing
  3. Participation in spring 2021 on-campus Commencement; date to be determined

Who is eligible?

All graduating students are encouraged to participate in the virtual celebration.

The postponed undergraduate ceremonies will recognize students who complete their degree requirements in December 2019, May 2020 or August 2020.

Degree conferral and participation in Commencement ceremonies are different. To graduate, students must apply for their degree regardless of whether they plan to participate in a Commencement ceremony.

Students apply for their degree in myRedDragon. To be included in the Commencement program, they must have completed by March 1, 2020.

To view your degree conferral application status please complete the following steps:

  1. Select the STUDENT tab
  2. Select DEGREE CONFERRAL AND GRADUATION on the Registrar channel
  3. Choose the REVIEW EXISTING APPLICATIONS link

Students are encouraged to contact their advisor to check eligibility status.

Will there be an on-campus Commencement ceremony?

Yes. The postponed spring 2020 Commencement ceremonies will occur in spring 2021. Additional details regarding the date, time, location and how to participate are forthcoming.

What is a virtual celebration, how do I participate and when will it be held?

SUNY Cortland plans to celebrate the Class of 2020's achievements Tuesday, May 26, to Friday, May 29, 2020, through virtual messages and an interactive website. Details on how to participate are forthcoming.

How can I participate in the virtual celebration?

All are encouraged to join in the daily activities planned for the Class of 2020.

What will be included in the Class of 2020 commemorative mailing?

  • Message from SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum
  • Diploma cover if purchased through the online ticket reservation process
  • Class of 2020 celebration booklet
  • Honors tassel for those who qualify
  • "I Left My Mark" pin for those who donated to the senior class gift

How can I purchase my cap, gown, diploma cover and tassel?

  • All Commencement-related items are available on The College Store website and will be available throughout the entire 2020 calendar year.
  • Orders are being processed daily and will ship within 24 hours of purchase, Monday through Friday. Please contact store@cortland.edu with any questions.

How do I return my purchased cap, gown and tassel?

Please email college.store@cortland.edu for returns.

How can I be reimbursed for the $11.50 diploma cover charge?

This $11.50 charge was for your diploma cover when you reserved your student line-up and guest e-ticket(s).

If you would like to be reimbursed for your diploma cover, complete the Diploma Cover Fee Return Request Form by Monday, June 8, 2020.

When and how will I receive my honors tassel?

Students who qualify for an honors distinction based on their grade point averages recorded as of Feb. 1, 2020, will receive an honors tassel. The tassel by grade point average are shown below:

  • Cum Laude (3.2 to 3.499): White Tassel
  • Magna Cum Laude (3.5 to 3.749): Red and White Tassel
  • Summa Cum Laude (3.75 and above): Red Tassel

Students who do not qualify for an honors distinction will wear a black tassel. However, if the student's grade point average at the end of the academic year meets the honors criteria as noted above, the honors distinction will be recorded and displayed on the official transcript and diploma.

Various departments also have individual honors programs. The departments may distribute cords or tassels to wear during the Commencement ceremony as well. Students should inquire with department chairs or advisors to verify if there is a specific honors distinction for a major/program. Tassels will be sent as part of the Class of 2020 commemorative mailing.

When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas are mailed to students approximately 10 to 12 weeks after all degree requirements are met, including student teaching, internships, fieldwork and comprehensive exams. Students who completed degree requirements in:

  • Fall 2019, diplomas were mailed in February 2020
  • Winter 2020, diplomas were mailed in March 2020
  • Spring 2020, diplomas will be mailed in August 2020
  • Summer 2020, diplomas will be mailed in October 2020
  • Fall 2020, diplomas will be mailed in February 2021

Degrees post to official transcripts on the date the degree is verified. If you order transcripts prior to your conferral date, they will only list the courses you have taken without the degree date and the awarded degree. You have the option of "holding transcripts" until the degree is awarded when ordering online. There is a header title called "Degrees Awarded" on the official transcript and the online academic history (unofficial transcript). For additional information, please contact Student Registration and Record Services.

Will Senior Send-Off be held?

The Alumni Association and Student Alumni Association (SAA) are currently assessing viable options to hold a celebration for our seniors. We look forward to welcoming them into the alumni family when it is safe to do so. Please visit RedDragonNetwork.org/2020 for future updates.

When will I receive my Class of 2020 gift pin?

If you contributed to the Class of 2020 gift, you will receive an “I Left My Mark” pin, which will be mailed to you as part of the Class of 2020 commemorative mailing. Those who are interested in participating in the campaign still have the opportunity to do so. For more information please visit RedDragonNetwork.org/2020gift.

Who can I contact with additional questions?

Questions regarding the degree conferral application, including those regarding a current application, may be directed to Student Registration and Records Services.

All additional questions may be emailed to Undergraduate Commencement.

Graduate FAQs

How will the graduate Class of 2020 be celebrated?

The following activities have been planned in celebration of the Class of 2020:

  1. Virtual celebration from Tuesday, May 26, to Friday, May 29, 2020
  2. SUNY Cortland Class of 2020 commemorative mailing
  3. Participation in spring 2021 on-campus Commencement; date to be determined

Who is eligible?

All graduating students are encouraged to participate in the virtual celebration.

The postponed graduate ceremony will recognize students who complete their degree requirements in December 2019, May 2020 or August 2020.

Degree conferral and participation in Commencement ceremonies are different. To graduate, students must apply for their degree regardless of whether they plan to participate in a Commencement ceremony.

Students apply for their degree in myRedDragon. To be included in the Commencement program, they must have completed by March 1, 2020.

To view your degree conferral application status please complete the following steps:

  1. Select the STUDENT tab
  2. Select DEGREE CONFERRAL AND GRADUATION on the Registrar channel
  3. Choose the REVIEW EXISTING APPLICATIONS link

Students are encouraged to contact their advisor to check eligibility status.

Will there be an on-campus Commencement ceremony?

Yes. The postponed spring 2020 Commencement ceremony will occur in spring 2021. Additional details regarding the date, time, location and how to participate are forthcoming.

What is a virtual celebration, how do I participate and when will it be held?

SUNY Cortland plans to celebrate the Class of 2020's achievements Tuesday, May 26, to Friday, May 29, 2020, through virtual messages and an interactive website. Details on how to participate are forthcoming.

How can I participate in the virtual celebration?

All are encouraged to join in the daily activities planned for the Class of 2020.

What will be included in the Class of 2020 commemorative mailing?

  • Message from SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum
  • Diploma cover if purchased through the online ticket reservation process
  • Class of 2020 celebration booklet

How can I purchase my cap, gown, hood, tassel and diploma cover?

  • All Commencement-related items are available on The College Store website and will be available throughout the entire 2020 calendar year.
  • Orders are being processed daily and will ship within 24 hours of purchase, Monday through Friday. Please contact store@cortland.edu with any questions.

How do I return my purchased cap, gown, hood and tassel?

Please email college.store@cortland.edu for returns.

How can I be reimbursed for the $11.50 diploma cover charge?

This $11.50 charge was for your diploma cover when you reserved your student line-up e-ticket.

If you would like to be reimbursed for your diploma cover, complete the Diploma Cover Fee Return Request Form by Monday, June 8, 2020.

When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas are mailed to students approximately 10 to 12 weeks after all degree requirements are met, including student teaching, internships, fieldwork and comprehensive exams. Students who completed degree requirements in:

  • Fall 2019, diplomas were mailed in February 2020
  • Winter 2020, diplomas were mailed in March 2020
  • Spring 2020, diplomas will be mailed in August 2020
  • Summer 2020, diplomas will be mailed in October 2020
  • Fall 2020, diplomas will be mailed in February 2021

Degrees post to official transcripts on the date the degree is verified. If you order transcripts prior to your conferral date, they will only list the courses you have taken without the degree date and the awarded degree. You have the option of "holding transcripts" until the degree is awarded when ordering online. There is a header title called "Degrees Awarded" on the official transcript and the online academic history (unofficial transcript). For additional information, please contact Student Registration and Record Services.

Who can I contact with additional questions?

Questions regarding the degree conferral application, including questions about a current application, may be directed to Student Registration and Records Services.

All additional questions may be emailed to Graduate Commencement.