By Kevin Hornibrook
The College announced plans for in-person commencement ceremonies this spring, the second spring graduation season amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Class of 2020 is being welcomed back for their own ceremony after last year’s virtual commencement convocation.
According to the new schedule, the academic ceremonies for the Class of 2020 will be held in Lions Stadium on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25. Ceremonies for the Class of 2021 will be on Wednesday, May 19, Thursday, May 20 and Friday, May 21, also in Lions Stadium.
Links to a livestream will be made available for those who wish to watch from home.
Per current Covid-19 guidelines, all attendees will be required to wear face coverings and seating will be physically distanced. All graduates and guests must complete a self-checkup form before attending to ensure a safe ceremony.
Each graduate is now permitted to bring up to four guests as of the recent announcement, after the initial announcement of only two guests.
With the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, the plans are still subject to change. In a campus-wide email sent on March 30, President Kathryn Foster said the College had its “fingers crossed” regarding a return to in-person activities.
The email also noted the College’s optimistic vision for on-campus residence in the coming fall semester, including in-person classes and residence halls at full occupancy. There is currently no plan to require students to be vaccinated to live on campus, but the email encouraged them to do so regardless of a mandate.
Should the current schedule hold, the commencement ceremonies will mark an important step in the path to the return of traditional campus life.