DeKalb, IL — Colleges across the country have begun announcing their 2021 commencement plans and many are opting to hold in-person celebrations in May.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the latest colleges to announce its plan to hold in-person graduation for 2020 and 2021 graduates. University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones said the school plans to hold a private stage-crossing experience for graduates this May, and they’re allowed to bring two guests.
“We absolutely understand the importance of commencement at Illinois, and we are committed to doing everything we can to celebrate the success of Illinois graduates while working to maximize the health and safety of our community,” Jones said.
"This past year has obviously been very, very challenging, and I know that it's had a significant impact on the senior year of this graduating class," said Robert Robbins, University of Arizona President. "We're all looking forward to coming together, in a different but memorable way, to celebrate the academic achievements of the class of 2021."
In-person graduation ceremonies will be an option for some universities while students can still opt for a virtual graduation. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is planning an outdoor in-person graduation over a series of days but will also offer a virtual option.
“Undergraduate students in the class of 2021 overwhelmingly told us that they wanted to attend an in-person event, and we are doing everything we can to make that happen, especially at the end of such a tough academic year,” UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said. “We also know that some graduates prefer a virtual event, and we will livestream the ceremony for those who would rather watch it from home.”