The Catholic University of America in D.C. is taking this year’s graduation ceremony off-campus by holding it at FedEx Field in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
A little over 9 miles separates the usual site for graduates on the university’s Mall and where the Washington Football Team plays in Landover, but Catholic University President John Garvey said, with COVID-19 safety being the imperative, there was no other way.
“Commencement on our beautiful campus is the event we most look forward to every year, but COVID continues to make that impossible,” Garvey said in a news release.
“Location is secondary for us this year. After so much time apart, our priority was to bring our community together, but to do so safely. I look forward to seeing everyone in person.”
Graduates and up to four guests can attend, along with the school’s faculty and staff. The event will be ticketed as well, but it will be a few more weeks before the university said it would be ready to release information on that process.
Catholic University said it plans to hold graduation rain or shine, and guests and graduates should plan accordingly if rainy weather is expected.
Masks will be required for everyone over the age of 2 at all times. Small bags, such as purses, will be allowed into the stadium for the event as well.
“I would like to acknowledge the creativity of our team that has worked so hard over the past year to explore alternatives to virtual ceremonies,” Garvey said.
“We know that everyone is suffering from Zoom fatigue. It’s a testament to the community culture of the University that we are able to find a way to come back together for graduation.”
The graduation is set for May 15 at 10 a.m. and will also be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend.
The university said it is looking into ways to hold a ceremony for the Class of 2020, but coronavirus-related restrictions currently prevent the alumni association’s plan of doing so on campus.