Updated April 20, 2021
What will commencement look like this year?
Even though COVID-19 restrictions will not allow for our traditional fully in-person Commencement Day for our graduates and their families, we are offering all of our major commencement activities, some virtually and some in person, on Saturday, June 12, 2021:
- The main commencement celebration, traditionally held in Matthew Knight Arena, will be conducted virtually, at 9:00 a.m. PDT. Everyone is invited watch this celebration live at commencement.uoregon.edu.
- Virtual school and college ceremonies will follow the main celebration. Everyone is invited to watch any of these ceremonies on the commencement website at 10:00 a.m. PDT. As part of these pre-recorded ceremonies, graduates who opt in will have a personalized grad slide included in their school or college ceremony.
- NEW: Class of 2021 graduates are invited to participate in the traditional Grad Parade on campus starting at 12:30 p.m. PDT. This newly added in-person activity is for 2021 graduates only. Students must opt in to participate.
- NEW: Class of 2021 graduates are invited to participate in a Stage Procession in the Memorial Quad immediately following the Grade Parade. This in-person activity is for 2021 graduates only and will be livestreamed so friends and family can watch online. Students must opt in to participate.
How did the university decide to add the in-person Grad Parade and Stage Procession?
After listening to students and their families, and with increasing vaccine availability and anticipation of improving COVID-19 conditions in the local community, we are able to add additional in-person events. We sought to create commencement activities that would replicate as much of the traditional Commencement Day celebration as possible, based on student and family input. The Oregon Health Authority has approved these events, contingent on favorable case counts and Lane County health conditions.
Are families allowed to attend the in-person activities?
In-person activities are for Class of 2021 graduates only. While we understand that families would like to attend these activities in person, our ability to conduct these events safely requires us to limit them to Class of 2021 graduates only. Family and friends are not invited to the Grad Parade and will not be permitted in the Memorial Quad for the Stage Procession and photo opportunity. The Stage Procession will be livestreamed so family and friends can watch online.
Why are you recommending graduates not in Eugene, or their family and friends, don’t travel back to Eugene for Commencement Day?
Public health officials recommend that people not travel due to the potential spread of COVID-19. Travel could increase cases within the Eugene-Springfield and campus community, jeopardizing our ability to hold these in-person events, which are contingent upon favorable COVID-19 public health conditions. These events could be canceled with little notice.
Will the Class of 2020 be able to participate in this year’s in-person activities?
We are only able to meet occupancy limitations by offering this year’s in-person activities to the Class of 2021, due to occupancy limitations. However, we remain committed to inviting the Classes of 2020 and 2021 back to campus next year for our traditional, in-person commencement celebration.
Why aren’t you holding in-person commencement activities in Autzen Stadium or another venue so that families and friends can attend?
Under OHA rules, even in the most optimistic scenario, there would not be enough room for all graduates and their guests to be in Autzen Stadium or in any outdoor UO venue. Even if we limited graduates to one or two guests, we may not be able to accommodate everyone under current COVID-19 limitations. Also, we do not want to encourage families to travel, due to the increased public health risks. In addition, all in-person events are contingent upon favorable public health conditions. Holding a combination of in-person activities and virtual celebrations provides the greatest opportunity to make the best of a challenging situation to celebrate the achievements of our graduates while also prioritizing the health and safety of our communities.
Who was sent the email for this year’s commencement?
- Anyone who has applied to graduate fall 2020, winter 2021, spring 2021, summer 2021, or fall 2021.
- Any undergrad who was/is enrolled winter 2021/spring 2021 and has at least 150 cumulative credits.
- Any winter 2021/spring 2021 enrolled master’s student who has at least 40 cumulative credits or doctoral student with at least 80 cumulative credits.
How will you contact the Class of 2020 and 2021 next year?
We will email Commencement 2022 information to the @uoregon email account of anyone who received a UO degree during summer 2019, fall 2019, winter 2020, and spring 2020 (Class of 2020) and summer 2020, fall 2020, winter 2021, and spring 2021 (Class of 2021). These alumni will be sent an email once we know what our plans are for Commencement 2022 (sometime next fall).