In-person commencement set for May 8

AU+gears+up+for+its+first+commencement+ceremony+since+December+of+2019.

Retrieved from: Ashland University Instagram

AU gears up for its first commencement ceremony since December of 2019.

Isabella Pacinelli , Features Editor

Ashland University administration is planning to hold graduation ceremonies in person on Saturday, May 8. They will take place outdoors at the Jack Miller Stadium, rain or shine. 

“The plan right now, and it’s still tentative, is to have a separate commencement for the graduating class of 2021,” President Carlos Campo said. “We’re also likely to have an aggregate exercise for the other classes who have not yet celebrated their commencement.”

Details such as how the earlier classes will be celebrated and the number of people who can be invited per student are still under discussion. 

Administration is hoping to finalize and share all plans by the end of this month.  

“It’s so hard to plan for a future when the vaccine is still being rolled out slowly,” Campo said. “What we’re finding is Covid is going to be around a lot more than we want it to be at commencement time.”

Graduates from the spring and winter classes of 2020 were unable to celebrate their accomplishments accordingly and were spotlighted on AU’s social media platforms. 

“We saw that it was anything but the kind of celebration we generally want to have and part of it too is we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for the May of 2020 celebration,” Campo said.

Although administration may not have liked the way these graduations were celebrated, Campo was surprised to learn that students were willing to wait for an in-person ceremony. 

“They wanted to wait, even if it took as long as it’s taken, to prepare for something that would really honor them in a way that they could participate,” he said. 

While the plan for commencement on May 8 stands strong, there is the chance that coronavirus ramps up again. “The reality is there are variants and mutations happening with this virus all the time,” Campo said. “But we are pretty determined that we will have it on May 8, outdoors, at the stadium — rain or shine — and so I would say it’s very likely that will happen.”