AU announces in-person commencement ceremonies for all 2020 and spring 2021 graduates

Graduates to be recognized in Bender Arena following virtual commencement events in May

AU announces in-person commencement ceremonies for all 2020 and spring 2021 graduates

The Mary Graydon Center, pictured in 2016. 

American University will invite spring 2021 and Class of 2020 graduates to cross the stage in Bender Arena for in-person commencement ceremonies in May, according to an email sent to graduates Wednesday. 

The in-person commencement processions will take place over the course of five days, beginning with main campus Class of 2021 graduate recognitions on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9 and main campus Class of 2020 graduate recognitions on Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16. Washington College of Law graduates of 2020 and 2021 will be recognized on Sunday, May 23. 

Following the virtual University-wide commencement celebrations scheduled from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EST on May 8, spring 2021 graduates of the School of Communication and School of Education will be invited to participate in an in-person commencement ceremony from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. School of International Service graduates will be recognized in person from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

On May 9, in-person recognition ceremonies for spring 2021 graduates will continue, with School of Public Affairs graduates to be recognized from 9 to 10:30 a.m., Kogod School of Business and School of Professional & Extended Studies graduates from 12 to 1 p.m., and College of Arts and Sciences graduates from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

In-person commencement processions will resume the following weekend for Class of 2020 graduates, with School of Communication and School of Education graduates to be recognized on May 15 from 9 to 10 a.m, School of Public Affairs graduates from 12 to 1:30 p.m., and College of Arts and Sciences graduates from 3:30 to 5 p.m. 

On May 16, in-person celebrations for the Class of 2020 will continue, with Kogod School of Business and School of Professional & Extended Studies to be recognized on campus from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and School of International Service graduates from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

On Sunday, May 23, Washington College of Law Class of 2020 graduates will be recognized in-person from 2 to 3 p.m. WCL spring 2021 graduates will be recognized from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. 

President Sylvia Burwell, Acting Provost Peter Starr, Vice President of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence Fanta Aw and the respective school and college deans will be present at the ceremonies as graduates cross the stage when their names are read.

Graduates are required to register for the in-person ceremonies by 5 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 26. According to Wednesday’s email, graduates will receive an email to their AU addresses “in the coming days” with a unique link to register for a 15-minute time slot based on their school.  

In accordance with D.C. Department of Health regulations, the University will limit attendance at each ceremony to a maximum of 500 people. This 500-person capacity will include graduates, as well as faculty members and staff. 

All participants will also be required to adhere to comprehensive COVID-19 protocols, including local government travel restrictions, face covering and physical distancing guidelines and completion of the Health and Safety Acknowledgement form prior to arrival on campus. Graduates must agree to abide by these and other health and safety guidelines upon registration.

Guests will not be permitted to accompany graduates to campus. Friends and family are invited to watch the processions via livestream on the University’s commencement website

According to Wednesday’s email, the University will “continue to monitor health and safety conditions and follow guidelines set by local and federal authorities” as the dates approach. Graduates will be notified “as soon as possible” if plans for the events must be changed. AU advises graduates and their families to refer to the commencement site for additional information on the in-person commencement processions, frequently-asked questions and future updates.

kcorliss@theeagleonline.com

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