Notre Dame announces plans to host 2021 University Commencement Ceremonies

Author: Notre Dame News

Tassel at the Notre Dame Commencement ceremony. (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

In a message today to the University of Notre Dame community, President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., provided updates on the University Commencement Ceremonies in May for the classes of 2020 and 2021, as well as for alumni reunions in June.

In consultation with local public health officials and based on current projections, the University is planning for in-person commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021 on the weekend of May 21 to 23, as previously scheduled.

“We believe at this time that it will be possible to safely host these events — with some modifications, of course — with and for our graduates, who will have been on campus all semester and therefore subject to regular surveillance testing and the many other public health protocols that are in place,” Father Jenkins wrote, adding that the University will assess the situation as the date draws closer.

At this time, the hope is to welcome a limited number of family members and other guests to the ceremonies, subject to public health guidance closer to the date. Family members and friends unable to attend in person will be able to watch the ceremony online. More information will be available in coming weeks on the University’s commencement website.

Because of the pandemic, Notre Dame conferred degrees on the Class of 2020 in an online ceremony last May, with the expectation of bringing the graduates back to campus on Memorial Day weekend of 2021 for an in-person celebration. Based on advice from public health officials and after communicating with Class of 2020 leaders, the University has canceled the Memorial Day weekend celebration, given the risks involved in bringing the 2020 graduates and their guests together from across the nation and around the world. A celebration is now planned for the summer of 2022 for those who earned bachelor’s degrees, while the Graduate School, Law School, School of Architecture, Keough School of Global Affairs and Mendoza College of Business will initiate conversations with those who earned graduate and professional degrees to gather ideas on how best to further celebrate their achievements within the individual schools.

In-person Notre Dame Alumni Association reunions in June have been canceled due to COVID concerns. Virtual offerings and smaller reunions may be held in the summer and at other times.