April 16, 2021
I write to provide an update on our planning for our 2021 Commencement. In February I wrote to our graduating seniors and graduate students to announce that we intended to hold our all-University in-person Commencement at Nickerson Field on May 16. Following that announcement, we conducted a survey of prospective graduates as to their interest in attending the ceremony. And, concurrent with our planning efforts, we have continued to be in touch with state and local officials about guidelines for public gatherings.
We are greatly encouraged by the level of interest in the Commencement ceremony. In fact, the interest is so great that we predict participation will surpass the capacity of Nickerson Field under the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and City of Boston maximum capacity guidelines we are obliged to work with. Consequently, to allow all interested students the opportunity to attend, we have decided to hold two events on May 16—one ceremony at 9:30 am specifically dedicated to our graduate students, and a second ceremony at 2 pm for our undergraduate students. Both events will take place at Nickerson Field and will be held under the same guidelines as those we previously announced. Participants will be seated on the field and possibly in the grandstands, with physical distancing. We are not able to offer the opportunity for friends and family to attend. But we will be providing virtual access to the event. As with my previous announcement, please look for further details in an upcoming BU Today article.
After more than a year of enforced remoteness and isolation, I am looking forward to joining with our graduates to celebrate their achievements in person. We recognize that the events we are planning cannot be as fulfilling as they would be if we could host family and friends. Nonetheless, I am pleased that we are returning, step by step, to operations and events that are closer to normal. And I am grateful to those who are putting much thought and creative energy into planning events that we intend to be worthy of our students’ hard work and achievements.
I encourage you to check for updates on our arrangements at our Commencement website.
With best wishes,
Robert A. Brown