Texas Woman’s University will hold commencement ceremonies for its Dallas-Fort Worth 2020 graduates at Texas Motor Speedway on Dec. 11-12 in an effort to overcome safety issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Graduates attending the event will mark their milestone by completing a slow-speed lap around the 1.5-mile tri-oval, known best for its quarter-century of side-by-side NASCAR and INDYCAR competition, before coming to a stop just shy of the start/finish line. They will step out of their vehicles in full regalia, receive their diploma covers, and then later pose for photographs. Participants will be allowed up to two carloads of family and friends.
The event will be livestreamed for family and friends unable to attend. “TWU is pleased to be able to offer these options for our graduates to safely celebrate with family and friends while maintaining the health and safety practices that are so important at this time,” said Carolyn Kapinus, Ph.D., TWU’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “We are fortunate to have Texas Motor Speedway partner with us to give our students a memorable way to graduate. And, we are thankful that long-time TWU supporter Mike Rydin, owner of HCSS, offered use of his business property in honor of his late wife, TWU alumna and occupational therapy faculty member Dr. Sophie Rydin.”
Texas Motor Speedway hosted more than 30 local high school graduations for nearly 14,000 students this past spring. Graduates received their diplomas as they walked across the start/finish line while friends and family were able to view the proceedings on Big Hoss TV, the world’s largest HDTV, safely and socially distanced in their own vehicles parked inside the speedway.
Graduation events will be spread over five ceremonies beginning on Friday, Dec. 11 at 9 a.m. and ending around 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. A full schedule of times and degrees awarded is available here. TWU held virtual ceremonies in May 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time. For more information about TWU’s graduation-related events, visit twu.edu/commencement-2020.
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