EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The University of Connecticut kicks off in-person graduation ceremonies starting Saturday.
The graduation starts on Saturday and goes to Sunday, then Monday then Tuesday and ending Wednesday. Officials are spreading it out, making it smaller and hosting it in one of the largest outdoor venues they have.
“Being able to use Rentschler Field has helped a lot because that does give us quite a bit of elbow room and a lot of opportunities to keep people spaced,” Stephanie Reitz, UConn Spokesperson.
In all, there will be nine graduation ceremonies, limited to 4,000 people. One thousand graduates each allowed three in-person family members to cheer them on.
“You can have people enter one side and leave the other side, we can have the seating before apart, and keep families sitting together in their own pods so to speak,” Reitz explains. “So it really does give us a lot of opportunities to make this happen.”
The University of Connecticut has been taking a lot of precautions to keep their students safe. In early April right before spring break, students who went away for spring break did not come back to campus but finished the last two weeks of school online. They’re taking finals right now.
Graduation starts Saturday. That is in order to stop the spread. They’re going to also try and stop the spread at graduation itself.
Reitz says, “We will be able to at least have them be honored in person on a stage, even if it doesn’t include a handshake or the passing of the diploma. For this year’s students, the diploma will be sent in the mail.”
There will also be an all-inclusive campus-wide virtual commencement streaming on May 8 with Connecticut’s own education secretary Miguel Cardona to speak. There will also be in-person graduation for students of 2020 who didn’t get to walk last year.
“They didn’t get this opportunity to stand up and be applauded, and they deserve that. They have earned that! So we want to make sure to get that for them.”
Keep in mind whether it’s rain or shine, barring any big bolt of lightning, they will have graduation. The graduates will walk and get their diploma in the mail.