Spring commencement announcement
I am delighted to share some exciting news! On May 9, we plan to celebrate the incredible collegiate achievements of the class of 2021 in person at commencement — the first in-person ceremony since December 2019.
To allow for a safe celebration with physical distancing, we will hold two spring ceremonies on May 9 with no more than 13,500 attendees at each event.
While the ceremonies in Ohio Stadium will maintain many of our proud traditions, health and safety guidelines mean that certain elements will need to change. We are partnering with state and local health officials on a plan to provide graduates and their families with the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments safely in person. The plan includes the following modifications:
- Two guests can accompany each graduate, and a livestream will be available for those who can’t watch in person. Each pod of three, including the masked graduate, family and/or friends, will be separated six feet from others.
- All ticketing will be digital to minimize close interaction, and seating and timed gate entry will be designated ahead of time.
- Six-feet distance dots will be placed outside of each Ohio Stadium gate, and graduates and guests must enter together.
- Graduates will receive diplomas on their way into the stadium via assigned times.
- Spacing limitations mean a small number of graduates and their guests will be seated on the field along with college leaders.
In a recent survey, the Office of Student Life found 86.2% of our 2021 spring graduates favor an in-person commencement. I am thrilled that we will be able to honor their wishes. I am especially excited for our first-generation graduates, who noted the special importance of commencement.
Academic leadership will work with individual colleges and units on their unique commencement-related activities to ensure they follow safe and healthy guidelines. More information on logistics, ticketing and other parameters for 2021 will be shared with the community — and on commencement.osu.edu — as the May 9 commencement date nears.
I am also excited to share that we will welcome back our 2020 spring, summer and autumn graduates for a special in-person ceremony on August 8. While we previously honored our Class of 2020 graduates in virtual ceremonies, we look forward to celebrating with them in person. We will also hold a separate, in-person commencement ceremony for our 2021 summer graduates on August 8. Both ceremonies will be held in Ohio Stadium to help ensure safety.
As always, your health and safety remain our top priority, and we will continue to work with health officials to make safe choices. Until then, be well, stay safe and have a great spring semester.
Kristina M. Johnson, PhD