Salisbury University has finalized its plans for a mostly virtual commencement ceremony for spring 2021 graduates, President Charles Wight announced during his weekly COVID-19 briefing Thursday.
Each academic school will be hosting its own personalized virtual commencement ceremony for its graduates, rather than the university announcing the names of the entire graduating class in a single setting.
The ceremonies will each begin May 15 at 1 p.m. for bachelor’s degree recipients and May 14 at 6 p.m. for master’s degree recipients. All ceremonies will also be available for viewing later.
A custom slideshow with personalized slides for each graduate will be shown following each ceremony, according to the university’s commencement website. Graduates will be sent a custom link to register for their respective ceremony and to submit their photo and message for their custom slide Monday.
SU is still planning to hold an in-person “grad walk” for spring graduates, however, Olmstead said.
Provost Karen Olmstead said spring graduates will be able to select individual timeslots for the grad walk to bring guests to Sea Gull Stadium, where a commencement stage will be assembled, from May 13 - 16. A reservation link will be available in the email that will be sent to graduates Monday.
Olmstead said the walk will provide graduates with an opportunity to walk across the stage and get photographed in regalia both on-stage. Family members will also be offered the chance to hood graduates to avoid having faculty or staff members break social distancing protocols.
“The grad walk will be a joyous event, especially given the perseverance our May 2021 graduates have shown,” Olmstead said.
Graduates who do not reserve a time for the grad walk before April 27 will not be able to participate in the event, Olmstead said.
All graduates and guests will be required to wear face mask coverings and observe social distancing protocols, though graduates will be permitted to remove their face masks for on-stage photo opportunities, per the website.
The total number of guests for graduates has risen from two to four for each graduate, according to the website. The grad walk will be live streamed on the website for those unable to attend in person.
Eight “celebration zones” will also be set up across the university’s campus, such as in front of the Academic Commons and the lawn of Holloway Hall, for graduates to take pictures in their regalia. Gathering in groups will still not be permitted due to social distancing protocols.
More details on the finalized commencement plans are available at https://www.salisbury.edu/administration/academic-affairs/commencement/.
By JAKOB TODD
Featured image courtesy of The Daily Universe.