U of L returns to in-person commencement ceremonies Sunday, Oct 3 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

U of L will return to indoor, in-person commencement ceremonies for the first time in two years in December.

The university announced that the ceremonies to celebrate U of L’s August and December 2021 graduates will take place Friday, Dec. 17.

The Graduate School Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony will take place in the SAC Ballroom at 2:00 p.m. and the University-wide Commencement Ceremony will occur at the KFC YUM! Center at 7:00 p.m.

“U of L will follow all CDC, state and city guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety for the ceremony,” the announcement said. The university also mentioned potential changes to the planned events due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U of L community can stay up to date on commencement safety protocols here.

All faculty are invited to attend, with participation in commencement being optional.

For faculty who plan to attend, they are required to fill out the faculty RSVP form by Oct. 31.

The university also asked faculty members who don’t own regalia to request for U of L to rent it for them by completing the rental order form as soon as possible. Regalia must be ordered by Oct. 31 at 11:59 p.m. More information on regalia pickup will be announced mid-November.

Further information on safety protocols, parking, and entry instructions will also be provided by mid-November.

Any questions can be directed to commence@louisville.edu.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal 

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U of L will have an in-person commencement this semester Saturday, Mar 20 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville has announced that in-person commencement ceremonies will return this spring. The ceremonies will take place at Cardinal Stadium for May 2021 and 2020 graduates who wish to participate. The ceremonies will also be livestreamed.

The first ceremony is planned for Friday, May 7 at 7 p.m. and will include the College of Arts & Sciences, Graduate School, School of Dentistry, School of Law and School of Medicine.

Saturday, May 8 will include two ceremonies. At 10 a.m. graduates from the College of Business, J.B. Speed School of Engineering and School of Public Health and Information Sciences will be recognized. The 4 p.m. event will include graduates from the College of Education and Human Development, Kent School of Social Work, School of Music and School of Nursing.

Sunday, May 9 will be held for a rain date if one of the original ceremonies must be postponed due to inclement weather.

Details for the ceremonies are still being finalized. However, U of L will follow all city, state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidelines. Masks and/or facial coverings will be required and must be worn at all times. The office of Gov. Andy Beshear approved the plans for the commencement ceremonies this week.

According to U of L News, the university is anticipating roughly 1,800 students to attend the events. Each graduate can invite up to eight guests, who will be seated in group pods of four seats.

Detailed information on how to obtain tickets, parking and entry instructions, and inclement weather plans will be shared by early April.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L exploring the idea of an outdoor commencement for May 2021 Friday, Feb 26 2021 

By Madelin Shelton —

The University of Louisville is exploring the possibility of holding an outdoor, in-person commencement ceremonies May 7 through May 9 at Cardinal Stadium.

May 2021 graduates and 2020 graduates would be invited to attend, as the 2020 commencement ceremonies were cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Mardis, U of L dean of students and vice provost for student affairs, detailed the university’s desire to consider this option.

“We wanted to have commencement all along. We’ve done surveying and talked with a lot of different students and gotten feedback through SGA representation,” Mardis said. “Having it outdoors would be safer than having it indoors and it would be a bigger venue. Safety is our number one concern, but we have this strong desire to have an in-person ceremony because we know that that’s what students want.”

Stephanie Reibert, U of L’s commencement coordinator, discussed how the university plans to abide by COVID-19 guidelines for such an event.

“We are going to follow all university, state and CDC guidelines for precautions. So, there will be physical distancing at all times amongst the graduates and the guests,” she said. “Although it’s an outdoor event masks are going to be required at all times.”

There will also be hand sanitizing stations, sanitation of the podium, and ongoing discussions of how to handle the entry of people into the stadium so that there will be fewer touch points. Further, Mardis mentioned the likelihood that tickets for the event will be electronic to reduce interactions among staff and guests.

He also stated the importance of staying responsive and flexible with the changing nature of the pandemic. The university plans to make adjustments to commencement plans as the situation changes.

For graduates, the number of guests they can bring with them will likely be restricted. The university has limited capacity on the number of people that can be present at Cardinal Stadium.

“Our goal is to allow a safe number of guests to celebrate each graduate, but that number is still to be determined based on the state of the virus and the guidelines at that time,” Reibert said. “The number of guests allowed per each graduate will also depend on how many graduates will be participating in the ceremonies, which the university is gathering numbers on now.”

The university will come to a final decision about whether to host the outdoor ceremonies, and specific details, sometime in March.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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University cancels in-person December commencement, opts for virtual ceremony Tuesday, Oct 27 2020 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville has announced that 2020’s December commencement will take place virtually on Dec. 12 at 4:00 p.m.

“Each unit will have a virtual ceremony with traditional university-wide elements,” the university said in a letter to the class of 2020.

Despite the university observing a strong desire among student surveys for an in-person ceremony, U of L said, “The elements of the traditional ceremony that students identified as most important cannot be safely accomplished in the current environment.”

The university disclosed that the decision was made after considering the current COVID-19 situation and after seeking guidance from public health and infectious disease professionals, the university’s COVID Coordinating Committee, and other university leadership.

Finalized details are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

The December commencement was to host those who will be graduating after the fall semester and those who graduated in May 2020 but still wanted to partake in an in-person ceremony, as all spring commencements were canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While students needed to have ordered their cap and gowns by Oct. 12 to guarantee a delivery by Nov. 18, they can still be ordered through Dec. 31. These items will be shipped to the address students list on their order. Those can be ordered here.

U of L will also be offering photo sessions on campus before Thanksgiving for graduating students. Further details about this will also be provided in the coming weeks.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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