LSU to hold in-person commencement exercises this spring
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana State University issued a release to members of its community on Wednesday (March 17) stating that the university plans to hold in-person commencement exercises this spring.
In the notice, LSU Interim President Tom Galligan said that LSU's May graduates, March graduates of the LSU Online program, and all LSU graduates from throughout 2020 will have the opportunity to walk across the stage as their names are called during the ceremonies.
Degree candidate and graduates must confirm that the plan to attend by April 9 and complete a brief questionnaire that will be turned in to the university.
According to Galligan, each senior college will hold a diploma ceremony for their respective graduates and will follow all state and university guidelines regarding maximum capacity restrictions, physical distancing, and mask wearing.
The update said that ceremonies for LSU's 2021 graduates will be held Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8.
The Vet School will hold a ceremony for DVM candidates on Monday, May 10, and the Law Center will hold a ceremony for its JD and LLM candidates on Saturday, May 15. It added that more information on those ceremonies is forthcoming.
Galligan's update added that 2020 graduates from last May, August and December who did not get to walk across the stage at a commencement ceremony due to the pandemic are invited to attend a separate ceremony exclusively for them on Friday, May 14.
In addition to the in-person event, all ceremonies will be streamed online for those who must attend virtually.
The diploma ceremonies will be held indoors at various venues across campus, LSU says, adding that masks will be required at all times.
The university also advises that students should be open to further adjustments in regards to the plans detailed above, explaining that if the status of the pandemic changes, or if the state’s event guidelines change, these ceremonies could also change.
LSU outlined the process for graduates as follows:
-Each graduate will be allocated four guest tickets. More information on tickets will be provided in late April.
-More information on locations and times will be posted at https://lsu.edu/commencement/ once the university knows how many graduates are attending.
-Graduates will be seated in physically distanced seats and will be invited to walk across the stage when their names are called.
-To minimize contact with others, graduates will not shake hands or pose for photos with anyone while on stage. Instead, graduates will be able to pose for professional photos just after they descend from the stage.
-Also, to minimize contact, graduate students will not be hooded as part of the ceremonies. All graduate hoods/stoles, University honor cords, University Medals and the like will be distributed in advance so graduates can wear them to the ceremonies.
-To ensure the safety of graduates, guests, and staff, there will not be a printed commencement program. Graduates’ names and accomplishments will be made available in print and online via several outlets. The university says details will be forthcoming.
-The platform party and LSU faculty attendance will be minimal in order to reduce the density of people at the ceremonies and accommodate as many guests as possible. Consequently, there will be no faculty processions at any of the ceremonies.
-All ceremonies will be supported by professional event staff who will direct attendees to appropriate seating, facilitate physical distancing and ensure appropriate use of masks.
-Professional photography will be available to all graduates to take photos on campus from March 29 – April 1 at a designated Grad Pop Up Photo Station. Graduates will be required to reserve an available time slot in advance.
For more information, visit https://sugeni.us/W6dW. This opportunity is available to all graduates, whether they attend a ceremony or not. This is in addition to the professional photography that will be available at each college’s in-person ceremony.
-Law Center degree candidates will receive details specific to their commencement ceremony directly from the Law Center administration.
The School of Veterinary Medicine’s DVM candidates will receive details about their ceremony directly from the Vet School administration.
The notice concluded with Galligan issuing congratulatory words for the graduating students, saying, "Congratulations to all those who are graduating. Study hard between now and then, and please take every precaution to stay healthy in the home stretch of the semester. We are thrilled to be able to offer these in-person ceremonies, and please know that we will work within all state, federal, and university guidelines to make these events as safe and memorable as possible for you and your families. Geaux Tigers!"
Click here for more on LSU's response to the local recovery from the COVID-19 health crisis.
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