January 2021 Graduates Will Participate in May 16 Live Commencement
University is responding to requests from students and families, President Brown says
- January 2021 graduates will join BU’s May 16 in-person Commencement
- BU revises attendance in response to requests from students and families
- Class of 2020 still to be feted at separate October Commencement ceremony
The Boston University students who completed their graduation requirements in January are being invited to attend the May 16 All-University Commencement for the Class of 2021, President Robert A. Brown announced Monday in an email to those Terriers.
The January graduates originally were to have been feted at this October’s postponed Commencement for the Class of 2020. BU switched them to this May’s ceremony in response to requests from the students and their families, Brown wrote.
“Since announcing plans for our ceremony in May, we have heard from many students and parents who were disappointed with the decision to include January 2021 graduates in our October celebration,” the president wrote. “We have reconsidered this decision and have worked through the logistics necessary to welcome January graduates.”
Holding May’s Commencement in person rather than virtually hinges on whether pandemic conditions permit easing of Boston’s outdoor gathering limits. Families and guests will not be permitted to attend either the May or October events, but BU will provide virtual access to both.
“There are some necessary steps that will be required prior to your return to campus for Commencement,” Brown advised the January graduates. “Detailed instructions as to how to register to attend, enter the University testing cadence, and schedule your COVID test will be provided at a later date on BU’s Commencement website.”
Although the format of Commencement will be different this year, we aim to provide an event that celebrates and acknowledges your hard work and accomplishments.
The University is asking members of the Class of 2021, including January graduates, to complete a brief survey by March 30 about whether they plan to attend the May Commencement.
“We hope that you will be able to join us on this special occasion,” Brown’s email said. “Although the format of Commencement will be different this year, we aim to provide an event that celebrates and acknowledges your hard work and accomplishments.”
The in-person Commencements in May and October will be conducted under the University’s Back2BU COVID-19 protocols. Graduates studying remotely from off-campus locations and outside Massachusetts will have to comply with the protocols, as well as with city and state travel guidelines for entering the commonwealth. A green badge will be required for participation at May’s in-person event.
As part of that all-University Commencement, BU is planning an open-air Baccalaureate service on the Alpert Mall, near Marsh Chapel, restricted to graduating seniors, advanced degree recipients, and a small group of deans and administrators. BU schools and colleges will hold their respective convocations virtually and will mail diplomas to graduates rather than distributing them on campus.
The rescheduled October ceremony for the 2020 graduates will include the awarding of honorary degrees to recipients announced at last May’s virtual Senior Breakfast, among them the Commencement speaker, Victor Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine.
BU Today will provide additional details for the May and October ceremonies as they become available.