Photo by Kelley L Cox/KLC fotos

Virtual Commencement 2 pm Sat.. Morning Event Honors Athletes

May 15, 2020

With the coronavirus having eliminated all large gatherings, Cal’s traditional graduation ceremony which annually jams Memorial  Stadium has been eliminated. But the Class of 2020 will receive its recognition. The main Commencement was scheduled for 2 pm. Saturday. At that time the stadium will be empty but it won’t look that way online. The campus is staging a virtual, mock commencement ceremony in the ‘“stadium.” In addition the athletic department will recognize its graduates Saturday morning.

It will happen within Blockeley University, a fantastical recreation of the campus built by Berkeley students and alumni using Minecraft, a video game many of them first played as tweens. The festivities will be live streamed on Twitch.

 Those with Minecraft accounts can join in-game from anywhere in the world by entering a Blockeley server ip address in the Minecraft multiplayer tab. 

And in conjunction with that at 10 a.m. Saturday the athletic department will stage a ceremony of its own, saluting the estimated 150 Cal athletes who are earning their degrees.

Dubbed “Cal Athletics Senior Celebration: A Recognition of Student-Athlete Success,” this virtual event will include a recorded presentation by Chancellor Carol Chris, a speech by Robert Paylor, the rugby player severely injured in a game three years ago (introduced by head coach Jack Clark) and remarks by athletic director Jim Knowlton.

Derek Van Rheenan, director of the Athletic Study Center, will present the department’s awards for academic excellence. 

More information on the day’s events and the weeklong virtual fest can be found at the website


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