U.Md., AU to host in-person commencement ceremonies in May

The University of Maryland will host an in-person commencement ceremony for students who will graduate in 2021, and those who graduated in 2020 but did not have an in-person ceremony due to the pandemic, the school’s president announced Wednesday.

University of Maryland President Darryll Pines said the school had worked with Prince George’s County to develop a graduation ceremony that follows local health and safety guidelines.

The commencement ceremony will be held Friday, May 21, at Maryland Stadium. A live-stream will also be offered for those unable to attend.

There will be two in-person ceremonies, and graduates and their guests will be assigned to one of them based on their school or college, according to Pines. Graduates may have two guests.

This year’s commencement speaker will be University of Maryland grad and president and CEO of IonQ, Peter Chapman. According to the announcement, IonQ is a company focused on quantum computing.

Pines warned that the situation is still fluid and subject to change.

“We must keep in mind that all campus events are contingent on evolving COVID-19 conditions and guidelines from the Prince George’s County health department,” he said. “Hosting successful in-person commencement ceremonies will depend on everyone doing their part, and remaining diligent in following our 4 Maryland guidelines.”

American University

American University on Wednesday also announced an in-person commencement for the Class of 2020 as well as this year’s graduating class.

The ceremonies will be held in Bender Arena “over a series of weekends in May,” the university said in a statement, without giving specific dates. The ceremonies will be in addition to an online commencement.

Graduates will walk across the stage and hear their names read aloud, the university said, but photos will be taken from a distance; masks will be required and family and friends cannot attend in person. A livestream will be set up.

“Our graduates have worked so hard and achieved so much, and now they can have this special moment that is so well-deserved,” President Sylvia Burwell said in the statement.

WTOP’s Rick Massimo contributed to this report.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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