By: Hope Fowler
Indiana University came to a decision regarding commencement at the end of this spring semester for 2021 graduates on Feb. 22.
IU South Bend will be holding both an in-person and virtual commencement on May 12. Due to safety concerns, all graduates will be able to attend an outdoor ceremony. All family and friends are welcome to attend virtually.
Due to COVID-19, IU South Bend graduates were unable to have an in-person ceremony and were instead honored through a video. Figuring out a way to honor the graduates from 2020, IU has decided to include last year’s graduates in the upcoming 2021 ceremony.
“My family was pretty upset when we learned that we wouldn’t get to have a graduation ceremony. I definitely feel like I missed out on one of the most important milestones of my life. It was a hard pill to swallow,” Payton Huling, 2020 graduate, said.
“So I do find it sad that my parents and family won’t get to be at my commencement after working for the last four years toward graduation, however I think it was the right call to make. IU has done so much to make sure that it’s students and faculty are as safe as possible, and I know that is why they made the decision about commencement. While it is unfortunate, I am more grateful than anything that they found a way for the seniors to be able to have an in person commencement,” Gabby Frodyma, 2021 graduate, said.
One thing has been made clear, commencement is a milestone for many graduates.
“It is clear that commencement is extremely important to our graduates. The commencement ceremony is the long-anticipated culmination of their hard work and persistence. It is an opportunity to celebrate their outstanding achievements. As a university, seeing our students through graduation is the ultimate goal, and we’re thrilled to welcome another class of graduates into our alumni family,” Moira Dyczko, director of alumni relations and campus ceremonies, said.
Students are required to reserve a spot ahead of time and are being asked to indicate their interest in being involved in the ceremony. Depending on those results, IU will use the information to establish the time and place of the ceremony.
After students have responded to the request, campus organizers will confirm plans for the best location that allows for social distancing. If graduates cannot attend, they are welcome to attend virtually.
As safety is a top concern for IU, all graduates who plan on attending must undergo COVID-19 testing, masks will be required at all times and social distancing guidelines will be in effect.
IU South Bend is closely monitoring COVID-19 cases in the area. If any changes need made regarding commencement, students can expect to find updates through their campus email.
Visit https://herff.ly/iu to view options and place orders for commencement apparel. Order by 11:59 p.m. on April 11 to avoid a $75 late fee.
PHOTO CAPTION: 2019 commencement was the last in-person commencement IU South Bend held. Photo provided by IU South Bend Newsroom