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UArizona to celebrate Class of 2021 with graduate-only ceremonies

Graduation generic photo
Posted at 10:48 AM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 21:06:57-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — COVID restrictions against large gatherings kept the University of Arizona’s Class of 2020 for having the pageantry of a normal college graduation.

The Class of 2021 will get a taste of the graduation experience but the realities of COVID will still intervene.

University President Dr. Robert Robbins announced Monday the University will have in-person graduation ceremonies as a precaution against spreading COVID-19 but they will be broken into a series of smaller gatherings over several days between May 11 and May 18.

Doctor Robbins says to give graduates a flavor of the experience of graduating in Arizona Stadium, students might be on the field but in relatively small numbers.

“I believe it'll be like 1000 students on the field at a time, spaced out, they will be able to walk in as a, they won't actually get their diploma, but they will be able to walk in there. Their regalia, their caps and gowns and being recognized individually on the jumbotron with their picture.”

They would not walk on stage to receive anything that would represent their diploma. Graduates will not be required to appear in person.

As with many things in the world of COVID there will be a way to watch it all remotely.

Doctor Robbins says, “As currently envisioned the in-person component of the ceremonies will be for students only discussions are ongoing. And we will update plans as, as are appropriate.

“The ceremonies also will be streamed live and recorded so that our students, families and their friends can participate remotely.

The University is posting updates to Commencement plans on its website.

Robbins says the University is working on some way to honor Class of 2020 graduates but it’s not clear yet what form that observance would take.

In 2020, commencement was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.