OTTAWA -- Carleton University and the University of Ottawa will be celebrating the Class of 2020 “virtually” this spring.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced both universities to postpone in-person spring Convocation ceremonies in June.

In a message to students this week, Carleton University President Benoit-Antoine Bacon says, “I would like to reiterate that this is a postponement and not a cancellation, and we remain committed to providing our students with the well-deserved opportunity to walk across the stage in a future Convocation ceremony.”

“In the meantime, we will be virtually celebrating the success of our graduates in a timely way and more information will be provided shortly.”

The University of Ottawa will hold “virtual convocation ceremonies” for its 10 faculties the week of June 15.

In a message to students earlier this month, uOttawa President and Vice Chancellor Jacques Fremont says, “Regrettably, public health guidelines will not allow us to gather together in person.”

“Instead this spring we will share in a virtual Convocation that will nonetheless be an inspiring opportunity for our graduating students to come together, to be recognized for their efforts and accomplishments, and to have your degrees legally conferred upon them by uOttawa’s Chancellor, Calin Rovinescu.”

Diplomas will be sent to students by mail after the week of virtual convocation has concluded.

Fremont says the University of Ottawa is also looking at honouring the Class of 2020 in person in the future.

“If public health guidelines permit, 2020 cohort students will be invited to attend a special in-person ceremony next spring. At that time, all of this year’s graduates will be invited to walk across the stage in cap and gown, and in the presence of friends and family, to be congratulated and celebrated by their Dean, the President and the Chancellor.”