Mizzou plans for in-person commencement ceremonies in April and May

Although details are still being finalized, the events will include social distancing and other health and safety measures.

Feb. 25, 2021
Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430, BasiC@missouri.edu

Columbia, Mo. — University of Missouri officials announced today that Mizzou will host in-person commencement ceremonies for 2020 and May and August 2021 graduates over three weekends in April and May. 2020 graduates will be honored April 23-25 while 2021 graduates will be invited to ceremonies over the weekends of May 7-9 and May 14-16.

“We are excited to celebrate our recent alumni and new graduates after a year that has tested all of us,” said President Mun Choi. “I look forward to recognizing these special individuals, while taking a variety of safety measures, and I am delighted they will have the opportunity to be recognized for their extraordinary efforts.”

Although details are being finalized, the ceremonies will likely be held in Mizzou Arena and the Hearnes Center. Students can receive tickets to invite up to six visitors who will be grouped in “pods” that are socially distanced from others while following health and safety protocols, such as wearing face coverings. To provide additional access, the ceremonies will be livestreamed.

The university awarded nearly 9,000 degrees in 2020 but had to suspend in-person commencement ceremonies. Instead, schools and colleges held virtual celebrations. The ceremonies will be the first in-person commencement events held at MU since December 2019.

“We could not be more proud of our graduates who have displayed astounding resilience and grit to earn degrees in their fields of study despite the many challenges they have had to overcome,” Provost Latha Ramchand said. “We promised the university community that we would celebrate our graduates in person as soon as it was safe to do so. Using a variety of strategies, and in consultation with our public health experts, we are developing plans to ensure we can safely hold these ceremonies for our graduates and their families.”

A team of faculty, staff and university leaders has been meeting for months to prepare for an in-person commencement, including representatives from space planning, the University Registrar’s Office, Academic Affairs, Athletics, Communications and Marketing, and MU’s Incident Command Team, which includes public health experts.

“It has been difficult to tell our students and their families that we could not meet in person to celebrate their achievements over the past year,” University Registrar Brenda Selman said. “We know how important commencement is to our students — it is a culmination of the academic experience and the ceremonial awarding of degrees. This year’s ceremonies will not look like previous ones, but we are looking forward to resuming this beloved university tradition.”

MU officials will share more specific info as more details are available. Please check commencement.missouri.edu for more information.

Commencement dates for specific ceremonies for May and August 2021 graduates are listed online, and 2020 information will be updated soon.

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