Michigan State University is planning more than 50 limited-attendance outdoor graduation ceremonies to recognize the accomplishments of the spring 2021 graduating class.
“Graduation is a time-honored academic transition from learning to the world, and the Office of the Provost looks forward to enabling in-person celebrations to recognize this milestone accomplishment for our spring 2021 graduates,” said MSU Provost Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “We have resourced every part of our campus community in support of this effort and are confident in our collective abilities to persevere in commending this group of scholars.”
A typical spring graduation season has around 20 college and university ceremonies. Unlike previous years, a university-wide convocation will not be held. Undergraduate ceremonies are being scheduled by each college based on students’ majors or alphabetically by last names.
The university based its approach to in-person graduation on the most recent local health and safety guidelines and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services orders. All undergraduate ceremonies will take place at large parking lots on campus to allow for appropriate physical distancing.
Advanced degree ceremonies for master’s and doctoral degree recipients as well as education specialists will be held virtually and streamed on the MSU commencement website. The colleges of Human Medicine, Law, Osteopathic Medicine and Veterinary Medicine will hold in-person ceremonies. More than 8,400 undergraduate and graduate degree-earners will be recognized across three weekends in April and May.
To accommodate current attendance restrictions on outdoor gatherings, each graduate is permitted up to two guests. Given the limited number of people able to safely gather, even outside, the spaces cannot accommodate 2020 graduates, who had no options to attend in-person ceremonies last year. The university will offer those graduates opportunities at a future date.
As outlined in the MSU Community Compact, graduates and guests are required to wear appropriate face coverings at all times when on MSU property.