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Indiana University plans in-person commencement for graduates only

IU commencement.jpg
Posted at 9:08 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 21:08:08-05

BLOOMINGTON — Indiana University on Monday announced it is planning in-person, outdoor May commencement ceremonies at all of its campuses this spring.

The commencement ceremonies will be for both 2020 and 2021 undergraduate and graduate students, the university said. Graduates who do not attend in-person will still be recognized.

According to IU President Michael McRobbie, the in-person ceremonies will be limited to graduates only, while family and friends will be invited to attend commencement virtually.

"Commencement is one of the most beloved ceremonies at any university across the nation, and it was an agonizing decision for us to have to cancel it last May," McRobbie said. "We were all bitterly disappointed that this was necessary. But given IU's success in keeping our campuses and communities safe, as well as our nation's progress in fighting the pandemic, we believe it will be possible this May to hold in-person, outdoor commencement ceremonies for all of our students on all of our campuses, and to do so safely and consistent with our pandemic public health policies."

Each campus ceremony is being planned in consultation with county health departments and IU's Medical Response Team. Graduates who participate will be required to indicate their interest in attending and to undergo specific COVID-19 testing requirements.

"We're approaching commencement with the same cautious optimism we used to make crucial decisions that allowed IU campuses to remain open throughout the fall," Dr. Aaron Carroll, director of mitigation testing and distinguished professor of pediatrics and health outcomes research leader at the IU School of Medicine, said. "Limiting ceremonies to graduates only enables us to use the routine testing and public health guidelines in place at all of IU's campuses to ensure a safe celebration."

Ceremonies will be held:

  • Bloomington — May 7 (graduate ceremony); May 8 (undergraduate ceremony)
  • IU Southeast — May 10
  • IU Kokomo — May 11
  • IU South Bend — May 12
  • IU Northwest — May 13
  • IU East — May 14
  • IUPUI — May 15