National Virtual Commencement

Due to the pandemic, the previously scheduled California and Cincinnati commencement ceremonies are being replaced by a combined national ceremony that will be streamed online. This virtual ceremony will celebrate each student. We know it cannot take the place of a live, face-to-face experience, but we promise to do our best to make sure it is a memorable occasion. It will include many facets of a traditional commencement, including a musical offering, greetings from President Dr. Karen Schuster Webb and Provost Dr. Nelson Soto, and a conferral of each degree.
Basic information about the ceremony is shown below.


  • Sunday, October 25, 2020
  • Time: 11 am Pacific/12 noon Mountain/1 pm Central/2 pm Eastern


2020 Commencement Keynote Speaker The Honorable Danny K. Davis, Representative to the United States Congress

Union Institute & University is honored to have the Honorable Danny K. Davis, who earned his Ph.D. from Union in 1977, serve as our keynote speaker for the 2020 National Virtual Commencement .

Representative Davis has served as the U.S. Representative from Illinois’s seventh congressional district since 1996. He has devoted his life to champion social justice and is a servant leader whose life parallels Union’s mission to transform lives and communities. He is a champion for higher education and the pursuit of equity of access to educational excellence.

Dr. Davis has dedicated his career to the advancement of racial, ethnic, and underrepresented populations in higher education. He is resolutely committed to preserving our democracy, protecting social security, and enhancing our nation’s gains in civil and human rights.

He has been, throughout his career, a fierce advocate for women’s rights, voting rights, protection of the environment, consumer and labor protections, and ensuring quality, affordable health care for all. He has always fought on the side of justice in creating legislation for job creation, to fight poverty, to improve access and affordability for higher education, and has worked diligently for youth and criminal justice reform.

Representative Davis serves on the U.S. Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, and is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, the Urban Caucus, Community Health Center’s Caucus, Congressional Sugar Caucus, Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys, and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Re-entry.

Throughout the years, Congressman Davis has been a friend to Union, welcoming us to his office and hosting events in Washington, D.C. We thank him for his life’s work, his dedication to higher education, and his service to others.


Please direct any questions to: or 513-487-1165