American University plans to hold spring 2021 graduation recognition both online and in-person, depending on permission from the D.C. government, President Sylvia Burwell wrote in an email Monday.
The virtual commencement ceremony will feature remarks from an honorary degree speaker, a message from the president to the new graduates and the conferral of degrees. It will take place over the weekend of May 7 to 9.
The full ceremony will be followed by ones for individual schools, Burwell wrote, each with remarks from deans and student speakers, along with individual recognition of graduates.
“If we receive permission to host an in-person recognition, we will take every precaution possible to adhere to university and local government COVID-19 guidelines, including mask wearing, physical distancing, and limiting group size to the allowed number under DC regulations,” Burwell wrote. “These protocols will likely only allow for our graduates and a small number of university officials to attend.”
Burwell said families of the graduates will be invited to stream any in-person recognition event.
Washington College of Law will have its own in-person and online commencement, also depending on D.C. guidance, on the weekend of May 22 to 23. D.C.’s COVID-19 guidelines can be found here.
Burwell wrote in her email that, should there be an in-person ceremony as planned, AU will strictly adhere to AU and D.C. government guidelines. She added that final determinations about any in-person events will be made by the second week of April.
“Thank you for your perseverance, understanding, and most importantly, your commitment to doing your very best in pursuit of your degree,” Burwell wrote. “The opportunity to celebrate your accomplishments in May is the culmination of your efforts and experiences at American University, and our entire community is proud of you.”
Further information can be found on the commencement website. RSVPs are not required to attend the online celebrations. The ceremony will be streamed live on the commencement website.