Columbia Southern University Celebrates Class of 2020 Virtually

(Columbia Southern University file photo of 2015 commencement.)
(Columbia Southern University file photo of 2015 commencement.)

University Hosts Inaugural Virtual Commencement

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – Approximately 900 Columbia Southern University (CSU) graduates and loved ones smiled, celebrated, and applauded from their homes as part of this year’s annual commencement ceremony, which was presented online Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The ceremony, which is available on-demand for viewing on the CSU website, features all the pomp and circumstance of CSU’s traditional ceremony, which is normally conducted in-person in October. In his speech, CSU President Ken Styron stressed the importance of recognizing graduates’ accomplishments and its meaning to the university.  

“For some of you, today has been decades in the making. It may not be exactly how you imagined, but it is an accomplishment, nonetheless,” he said. “Do not let today’s circumstances diminish the significance of this milestone. This moment deserves recognition. This moment deserves joy.”

In addition to the virtual ceremony, the university also created a DIY celebration kit to encourage graduates to celebrate with their loved ones at home. Available at, the kit features everything needed for a graduation party: music, recipes, decorations, social sharing animations, activities for children and more.  

The keynote address was presented by Chantell Cooley, senior vice president of Columbia Southern Education Group. The 2020 Distinguished Faculty of the Year Awards were also announced during the ceremony. This annual award recognizes and honors CSU faculty for their outstanding achievements and contributions in aiding the university in achieving its mission to change lives through education. This year’s recipients included the following professors:

·         Darlene Jaffke, DBA, College of Business

·         Gregory Boothe, Ph.D., College of Safety and Emergency Services

·         Megan Bowers, College of Arts and Sciences

To learn more about the virtual ceremony, visit

About Columbia Southern University

As an innovator in online education, CSU was established in 1993 to provide an alternative to the traditional university experience for today’s adult learner. CSU offers online associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs such as business administration, criminal justice, fire administration and occupational safety and health. Visit or call (877) 347-6050 to learn more.

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