Winter 2021 grads to walk in-person

SVSU will be hosting in-person commencement this semester on Friday, May 7th.

Justin Engel, the communications manager for SVSU’s Alumni Relations, said the commencement organizers determined SVSU could host in-person ceremonies despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.

“After reviewing the public health guidance relating to gatherings this semester, our commencement planning team deter- mined SVSU could host in-person ceremonies in May 2021 with modifications to our traditional format,” Engel said.

One of the modifications is that students can invite up to two guests.

“This approach allows our graduates to invite loved ones while keeping the stadium’s attendance capacity below the capacity lim- it guidance provided by public health officials,” Engel said.

In addition to limited guests, commencement will be held out- side.

“Instead of hosting the ceremonies inside Ryder Center, our commencement events will take place outdoors in Wickes Memorial Stadium,” he said. “Moving the event outside was a decision in part influenced by public safety guidance that indicates outdoor environments significantly reduce the spread of the virus.”

Because weather may prove to be an issue, Saturday, May 8th, is the back-up date for the ceremony.

Instead of holding two ceremonies, as is normally done, Engel said there will be three commencement ceremonies.

“This semester, we will host three ceremonies instead of the traditional two ceremonies,” he said. “That additional ceremony will allow us to remain below attendance capacity limit guidelines while still honoring all of our graduates and allowing them to invite up to two guests each.”

Engel said that because of the thorough, detailed plan in place to address challenges, the campus community is excited to honor its graduates.

“The format will look different than the traditional commencement, but after a year featuring so many radical adjustments to the norms of our everyday lives, there is a lot to celebrate about the fact that we will be able to honor graduates in an event that is both ceremonious and safety-minded,” Engel said.

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