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Geno Auriemma to give commencement speech at UConn’s virtual graduation ceremony

Geno will address the 2020 graduates virtually via YouTube.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Geno Auriemma and the UConn women’s basketball team’s season came to a sudden end when the COVID-19 crisis shut down all sports indefinitely. Now, the coach will speak to all the seniors whose time in Storrs were also cut short by the pandemic.

On May 9, UConn will hold a virtual commencement for graduates, where Auriemma will serve as the main speaker in addition to a pair of student speakers, including the school’s first ever Rhodes Scholar, Wawa Gatheru.

The school was forced to move all classes online and shut down the campus beginning on April 23 due to the coronavirus — a move that was a temporary measure at first before soon after making it permanent for the remainder of the semester. Because of Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s ban on large gatherings through May 20, the commencement ceremonies were forced to be canceled.

All summer classes have already been pushed online as well, which means teams will likely be unable to hold summer sessions beginning on May 27. UConn President Tom Katsouleas said the school will decide on its plans for the fall semester on June 30, which could also force the start of some sports seasons to be delayed.

“Of course, what scenario we end up with depends a lot on the state of the pandemic in the fall, particularly the availability of rapid testing,” Katsouleas told the Board of Trustees per the Hartford Courant on Wednesday.

Currently, UConn plans to host a live, in-person commencement ceremony for graduates on the weekend of Oct. 9-11. However, that is contingent on the campus being re-opened by then.