By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4) – For students of all ages the school year in a traditional sense is over. Schools and universities have now moved to online learning to finish out the year, which means graduation will also look a little different.

Peter Waller is the student body vice president at the University of Colorado Denver.

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“The aspect of walking across the stage is absolutely, it’s crucial, and such a monumental moment,” he said.

(credit: CBS)

Waller is one of the many students and staff working to ensure the class of 2020 is recognized in some way come May.

“The graduate walking across the stage, to see that canceled, while necessary, it was also a little jarring,” he said.

Kelly Mason is the assistant director of university events. It’s her job to plan the ceremony that thousands of students take part in. A few weeks ago, her plan for the spring ceremony started changing.

“We were looking at the small tweaks and the incremental changes but then as everything started to progress and momentum seemed to kind of take us on a way, we had to make some more drastic alterations,” Mason said.

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Instead of cancelling, all of the speeches and the calling of each student’s name and their accomplishments will be moved online for a virtual ceremony.

(credit: CBS)

“There’s the photos, right, they want to be in their cap and gown and take the photos with their family… so this year we are paying to ship the cap and gown to the students,” Mason said.

It’s far from traditional, but for students moving on to the next chapter of life, it’s the next best thing.

“Maintaining that celebration, you know, the students they are graduating, they are completing their classes remotely and they are completing that monumental task, and so providing a method to do that celebration is incredibly important and that’s my job,” Mason said.

CU Denver students wanting the traditional graduation feeling are invited to an in-person ceremony in December.

CU Boulder is asking students to come back in May of 2021 to be recognized.

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Karen Morfitt