Indiana Daily Student

IU plans in-person, outdoor commencement ceremonies for 2020, 2021 graduates

IU will offer in-person, outdoor commencement ceremonies for all campuses in May for 2020 and 2021 graduates. 

Attendance will be limited to graduates, according to an email from IU President Michael McRobbie. Family and friends can watch virtually. 

“Commencement is one of the most beloved ceremonies at any university across the nation, and it was an agonizing decision for us to have to cancel it last May,” McRobbie said in the email. “We were all bitterly disappointed that this was necessary.”

IU-Bloomington’s graduate ceremony is May 7, and its undergraduate ceremony is May 8. A full list of ceremonies and initial information about the plans is listed on IU’s commencement website

McRobbie said this decision was based on IU’s “success in keeping our campuses and communities safe” and nationwide progress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. IU reported a .2% positivity rate in its latest weekly mitigation testing update.

Advice from IU’s Medical Response Team informed the university’s decision to have the ceremony in person, according to the email. IU is also working with county health departments to plan each campus’ ceremony. The plans may change in response to public health. 

IU is encouraging graduates who would like to walk in person to respond via an online form. Graduates who choose to attend will have specific COVID-19 testing requirements, according to the email. Graduates who do not attend in person will still be recognized in the ceremony, according to IU’s commencement website. 

“We are excited for the opportunity to celebrate in person with you but in a way consistent with IU's rigorous pandemic policies,” McRobbie said in the email. 

IU will announce more information about the ceremonies soon, according to the email.

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