Plans are in the works at Gonzaga University for five in-person commencement ceremonies this year.
The outdoor ceremonies are scheduled for May 8-9 at Union Stadium, the Mead School District’s new 4,500-seat venue. Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh said the college was given guidance for in-person ceremonies as part of Phase 3 of Washington’s coronavirus reopening plan.
“Commencement is a time of celebration and, in prepandemic times, an opportunity for family and friends to gather and acknowledge the truly momentous achievement that is represented by the completion of one’s degree,” McCulloh said in a statement. “Our surveys of this year’s graduates confirmed for us students’ preference for a safe, in-person graduation – but key to the event would be the ability to have even a limited number of family/guests present.”
Gonzaga’s graduations were rescheduled and reformatted last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, taking place virtually over the Labor Day weekend.
This year’s commencement ceremonies for the School of Law and graduate programs are thus far scheduled for Saturday, May 8, the university announced Monday. Undergraduate ceremonies will take place Sunday, May 9. The ceremonies will be livestreamed and recorded.
McCulloh said Gonzaga is working with the Spokane Regional Health District to plan the events. As such, the president said plans are subject to change.
Several COVID-19 restrictions are anticipated, including mask requirements and physical distancing. The university said graduates will be allowed to invite at least three, possibly four, guests depending on the number of participating graduates.
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