Spring 2021 Commencement

Adrianna Wooldridge, Reporter

Despite the challenges presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Spring 2021 graduation commencement will be held in-person at the American Bank Center on May 15, 2021. The Spring 2021 graduates will be awarded for their dedication and hard work by having the opportunity to cross the graduation stage and be individually recognized.

Deshawna Colvin, the Office of the Provost Communications Coordinator, shared that planning the commencement ceremony has been difficult as the team has strived to ensure that the ceremony is as student-centered and COVID-19 safe as possible. Unlike previous ceremonies, only students who completed the RSVP will be permitted to attend the Spring 2021 commencement. The ceremony will also be the first ticketed graduation ceremony as students will be limited to six guest tickets that are seated together. The American Bank Center will be following all necessary COVID-19 protocols suggested by public health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including increased venue sanitation.

The ceremony will also be following an abbreviated format to limit the amount of time that the students and guests will be gathered in the arena. The hooding and commissioning ceremonies will not occur at the commencement ceremony to allow social distancing guidelines to be upheld. However, students will still had the opportunity to participate in the hooding and commissioning activities prior to the commencement ceremony on May 11th and 12th. To reduce the ceremony’s duration, there will be no keynote speaker and to limit the amount of people in the arena, the band will not play. Lastly, the graduates will not be seated during the ceremony to provide availability for guests. According to Deshawna Colvin, if the graduates were to be seated during the ceremony, then guests would not have been allowed to attend the ceremony or multiple ceremonies would have been necessary to maintain adequate social distancing. Despite the numerous challenges presented by COVID-19, with these modifications in place the Spring 2021 Commencement will be safe and memorable for the students. Deshawna Colvin says, “I’m so excited and I feel honored and privileged to be in this position to plan commencement.”

The first two ceremonies at 9:00 am and 1:30 pm will be held for the Spring 2021 Graduates, while the last ceremony at 5:00 pm will be for the Class of 2020 Graduates. Based on the RSVP’s submitted, about 12% of the class of 2020 graduates are expected to participate in the ceremony.

After the commencement, graduates are encouraged to participate in the diploma drive-thru parade. The graduates are invited to show their pride by decorating their cars in blue and green as they receive their diploma in the drive-thru.

For more information regarding the Spring 2021 Commencement visit, https://commencement.tamucc.edu/current-commencement.html