University announces plans for 2021 Commencement Weekend
Observer Staff Report | Monday, March 29, 2021
In an email to graduating students Monday, the Office of the Registrar announced plans for the Notre Dame class of 2021 commencement ceremony taking place May 23.
The Commencement Mass will be held in Notre Dame Stadium immediately before the commencement exercises. All undergraduate and graduate students graduating in May and currently residing in the local area are tentatively allowed to bring two guests to the in-person ceremony, according to the class of 2021 commencement website. Information about how to reserve tickets will be made available mid-April.
Graduates studying remotely will be allowed to attend the commencement ceremonies if they show proof of vaccination or report to a University COVID-19 testing site upon arrival. The commencement ceremonies for the graduate school and professional schools are expected to be held outdoors over Commencement Weekend.
Each college and school is planning on holding an in-person diploma ceremony outdoors over Commencement Weekend. Graduates are also expected to be permitted to bring two guests to the diploma ceremonies. More information about the details of the various ceremonies will be released the week of April 12.
The University strongly recommends all graduates and guests planning on attending the ceremony to receive a vaccination before the ceremony. The commencement events, as well as the diploma and hooding ceremonies, will be livestreamed for guests who cannot attend them in person.
According to the website, all plans are subject to change. Should the commencement ceremony be moved to the Joyce Center due to inclement weather on May 23, guests will not be able to attend the ceremony in person.
“Should conditions necessitate a move indoors to the Joyce Center, our priority will be to seat our graduates,” the website said. “Distanced seating in the Joyce Center will unfortunately not permit us to accommodate any in-person guests.”
Graduates and guests are expected to follow all of the University’s health guidelines during Commencement Weekend. Additionally, all other recognition ceremonies over Commencement Weekend are expected to be held virtually due to the health risks of indoor gatherings, the website said.
The website also said a celebration for the class of 2020 is now planned for the summer of 2022. The graduate school and professional schools will engage in conversations with those who received graduate and professional degrees last year to determine how to best celebrate their achievements within the individual schools.
The class of 2020 commencement ceremony was originally rescheduled for Memorial Day 2021, but was ultimately deferred until summer of 2022 due to the pandemic.
“We do not expect that by Memorial Day 2021 we will be able to safely welcome back to campus the members of your class as well as your families and loved ones from across the nation and globe for the kind of joyful celebration you want and deserve,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in a letter to the class of 2020 in February.