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Summer commencement ceremonies to host current and past graduates in person

For the summer commencement ceremonies, USF will allow students to walk across the stage and bring as many guests as they like while welcoming back graduates from 2020 and spring 2021. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

Students will once again be able to strut across the stage to the cheers of a host of their loved ones at the university’s fully in-person 124th commencement this summer. 

In a universitywide email Thursday afternoon, USF President Steven Currall announced the university will be hosting graduates who had virtual or modified ceremonies from spring, summer and fall 2020 as well as spring 2021 to accompany the summer graduates. 

The ceremonies will take place at the Yuengling Center on Aug. 21-22, according to Currall.

Tentatively, we plan to hold ceremonies for previous graduates at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21, and 9 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 22. The exact schedule for ceremonies on Aug. 21-22 for 2020 and spring 2021 graduates will be announced once we determine demand,” Currall said.

Ceremonies for summer graduates will be held at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., according to Currall. The 9 a.m. ceremony will be for all graduates from the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, Muma College of Business, Morsani College of Medicine, College of Nursing, Taneja College of Pharmacy and College of Public Health. 

The 1:30 p.m. ceremony will host all graduates from the colleges of arts and sciences, education, engineering, graduate studies, marine science and the arts, the Patel College of Global Sustainability and the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Graduates will be able to bring an unlimited number of guests, eliminating the two guests per person policy the university implemented for the spring ceremonies. Advanced registration will be required for students who are graduating. 

Another change from the format of the spring ceremonies is students will be able to walk across the stage while their names are called. 

“Thanks to the availability of vaccinations and the university’s successful navigation of the pandemic — guided by USF’s medical and public health experts — we are excited to bring back one of USF’s most beloved traditions,” Currall said.

Formal graduate portraits will also return, eliminating the on-campus portrait system the spring graduates experienced. 

Currall said the event plans are subject to change if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines are modified, but as of now the administration is eager to bring students together to celebrate. 

“When USF determined, based on health and safety protocols, that we would hold virtual commencements in 2020, USF leadership made a commitment to invite graduates back to an in-person ceremony when public health conditions allowed us to do so,” he said. 

“We are excited to welcome back our previous graduates and to honor them and their achievements.”