Journey Ahead Update: Expanded Seating Available for Commencement
Postponing last year’s spring commencement exercises was among the most difficult and disappointing decisions the Anderson University COVID-19 Task Force had to make.
This year, because of the dedication of our entire campus community in keeping each other healthy and safe, we’ll be able to celebrate together, in person. Just the way it should be.
Of course, we’re not back to normal. Not yet.
This communication is meant to clearly explain what you can expect during our commencement ceremonies May 7 and 8. You’ll find most of the particulars on the website. So let’s just stick to brass tacks.
The bottom line? We’re working hard to make commencement available for as many students and guests as possible.
- We are increasing capacity both on Alumni Lawn and at our indoor rain location to allow for more attendees. This means we are increasing the number of guests each graduate can invite. Our Friday night graduate ceremony has no guest limits, while you are allowed up to six (6) guests for the Saturday morning undergraduate ceremony. We made this decision after careful consultation with our public health experts and current trends in our area. We believe this change is both prudent and responsible while allowing for additional people to celebrate your achievements.
- Commencement exercises for both graduate (May 7) and undergraduate (May 8) students are scheduled to take place outdoors on Alumni Lawn. That means masks or face covering protocols will be amended. In short, when you’re traveling to and from your seat, we’re asking you to wear a mask and keep your mouth and nose covered. While seated, masks are optional. That’s because…
- We are providing appropriate distancing among seats. Guests will be seated together in family groups to preserve appropriate physical distancing from others. Likewise, graduates will have appropriate space between each other while seated on the lawn.
- In the event we move indoors because of rain, masks and face coverings are required—but you’ll be allowed to have guests present.Again, given the recommendation of our Task Force’s public health team and reviewing the current trends in our area, we’re confident in our ability to accommodate indoor guests safely. For Friday’s graduate ceremony, you may have as many guests as you like. For Saturday’s undergraduate ceremony, two (2) guests are allowed in the main auditorium, while an additional two guests can enjoy the ceremony in an overflow building with a livestream being offered there.
- If you have any symptoms of any illness, please do not attend commencement. This is vitally important. Please don’t explain away your symptoms as allergies or a common cold. Sniffles? Coughs? Fever? Please stay home.
Remember: Our posture throughout the pandemic has been one of risk management, not risk avoidance. This is a voluntary event—you’re still an Anderson University graduate whether you attend commencement or not. For those who choose to attend, please know we’re taking appropriate precautions to protect you and your family while maintaining our ability to celebrate with you on what will be one of the most significant moments of your life.
Congratulations, AU family! We can’t wait to see you at commencement.