Miami’s weekend of in-person graduation events starts today: What’s planned

Starting this evening(CQ) Miami University will conduct a series of graduations outdoor at Yager Stadium through Sunday evening. As a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, the university will for the first hold nine separate graduation commencements with limited attendance by family members, social distancing and a mask requirement. (File Photo\Journal-News)
Starting this evening(CQ) Miami University will conduct a series of graduations outdoor at Yager Stadium through Sunday evening. As a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, the university will for the first hold nine separate graduation commencements with limited attendance by family members, social distancing and a mask requirement. (File Photo\Journal-News)

Grads are 1st class since early last century to go through full school year during a pandemic.

Starting Thursday night and running through the weekend, thousands of soon-to-be Miami University graduates will take part in limited-size commencement ceremonies outside at Yager Stadium.

They are the first graduating class in Miami’s history since the early 20th century to have attended a full school year – through a combination of in-person and remote online classes – during a global pandemic as the university made sweeping adjustments to remain open.

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And the series of commencement services, created in reduced event sizes to adhere to coronavirus prevention protocols, includes many graduates from the spring of 2020 who lost their chances to celebrate graduation due to more strict pandemic guidelines during the first spring of the pandemic.

“These students have been triumphant in an unprecedented time filled with uncertainty and hardships,” said Jessica Rivinius, spokeswoman for Miami.

“Their strength and stick-to-itiveness, combined with their Miami education, fuels them to be true leaders as they embark on this next step,” she said. “We are so thrilled to be able to celebrate our graduates in person and offer a remote option for those unable to attend.”

Nearly 4,800 associate, undergraduate, master’s and doctorates will be awarded starting tonight through Sunday with the first ceremony at 7 p.m. for 2020 graduates who missed out last year.

For specific times and details on graduation ceremonies see the Miami website.

In total, Miami will host nine ceremonies in which Miami President Gregory Crawford will address the graduates and their guests in the stadium on the school’s main Oxford campus.

Ceremonies will also incorporate remarks from 2021 commencement speaker Dr. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, the first woman of color elected as national president of the League of Women Voters.

To maintain social distancing and to meet capacity limits, each graduate is permitted to invite up to six guests to the ceremony, said school officials. Guests will have assigned seats in “pods” that are socially distanced from other attendees.

All participants, graduates, guests and staff will be required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing during the events.

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