A&M-San Antonio to honor spring 2020 graduates in customized, special event on campus as part of weeklong celebration

By University Communications

Tuesday, 05 05 2020

Operation Graduation – Curbside Edition will commemorate historic class of 2020 in a creative, flexible way while adhering to social distancing

SAN ANTONIO – While universities across the nation are having to grapple with postponing and cancelling graduation traditions, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is honoring its spring graduates with weeklong commemorative activities – including offering all graduates a special keepsake photo with an iconic campus backdrop.

Dubbed “Operation Graduation – Curbside Edition,” the on-campus event will take place May 15 during two sessions: 9-11 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. To ensure their health and safety at the event, each graduate will be asked to drive to campus, where a special traffic flow will be established to allow them to wait in their cars. Each graduate will then be able to park their car, walk a short distance to a specially designated spot at the edge of the courtyard near the University’s courtyard fountain and have their picture taken.

The photo will be with A&M-San Antonio President Cynthia Teniente-Matson and University mascot, General the Jaguar, with the Central Academic Building dome in the background. The photo will not only be arranged to maintain appropriate social distance, but also to feature the backdrop of the architecturally notable campus, which was designed to evoke the historic San Antonio Missions.

“When we first realized in March that many of the traditions our students look forward to experiencing would need to be cancelled or reimagined, we called upon a team of our best creative thinkers and collaborators to develop alternate plans that ensured that our graduates would be celebrated,” Teniente-Matson said. “This class is historic for the role they have played in the evolution of our University, as well as for the determination, flexibility and tenacity they have shown in dealing with very challenging circumstances while keeping their focus on their studies. We are immensely proud of these graduates and excited about what they will bring to the world.”

“Operation Graduation – Curbside Edition” is part of a series of activities designed to commemorate spring 2020 graduation. This class, which will join the A&M-San Antonio alumni network of over 12,000 graduates worldwide, marks an important milestone in the growth and expansion of A&M-San Antonio, which has become the fastest-growing institution in the A&M System.

“I’ve always believed that our flexibility and creativity as an institution are among our greatest strengths,” Teniente-Matson said. “Making sure that we celebrate the accomplishments of these graduates both now and in our rescheduled September commencement, while also protecting the health of everyone involved, is just another example of how we are doing all we can for our students, despite the very difficult circumstances we are facing together.”

A map and details will be provided for each graduate, and University police will help maintain traffic flow and safety during the event. Once they are in line, graduates will be provided with an online registration form to receive their commemorative class of 2020 photo. An alternative plan that also maintains social distancing in the event of inclement weather has been created. For more information, visit tamusa.edu/commencement. (Below is a list of other planned commemorative events.)

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FOR MEDIA COVERING THE EVENTS – Graduation activities and highlights:

Week of May 3:
Banner congratulating graduates visible from Highway Loop-410
Social media coverage featuring videos, a graduation filter, congratulations and class highlights

May 5:
President Cynthia Teniente-Matson’s column in the Southside Reporter referencing graduates and commencement

Week of May 10:
Lighting of the Central Academic Building dome and fountain

May 15:
Operation Graduation – Curbside Edition with San Antonio Express-News social media takeover and keepsake gift marking graduates’ transition to alumni

May 17:
Special section in the San Antonio Express-News, including congratulations from President Cynthia Teniente-Matson, A&M System Chancellor John Sharp and campus leaders, a list of graduates, photos and a welcome to the A&M-San Antonio Alumni Network

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Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Established as a stand-alone university in 2009, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is a comprehensive four-year public university that reflects the culturally diverse, heritage-rich community it serves. Situated on nearly 700 acres in south San Antonio, A&M-San Antonio is a Military Embracing™ institution offering 29 undergraduate degrees and 14 graduate degrees to over 6,700 students. The University is home to the Henry G. Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders and the Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center. A&M-San Antonio holds the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation. Military Times ranks the University No. 35 in the nation for “Best for Vets: Colleges.” Visit tamusa.edu for more information. #onamission