IU plans in-person spring commencements, for graduates only


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University plans to hold in-person spring commencements at all of its campuses, but only graduates will be permitted at those ceremonies under IU’s coronavirus policies, officials said.

The university canceled 2020’s spring commencements during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic — a decision IU President Michael A. McRobbie said was necessary even though it left students, their families and the school community “bitterly disappointed.”

But McRobbie announced Monday that in-person commencements are expected to return in May at all of IU’s campuses due to the school’s success in keeping its campuses and communities safe and the nation’s progress in fighting the pandemic.

While graduates can attend the planned ceremonies, their family and friends are invited to attend the commencements virtually, said Dr. Aaron Carroll, IU’s director of mitigation testing.

“Limiting ceremonies to graduates only enables us to use the routine testing and public health guidelines in place at all of IU’s campuses to ensure a safe celebration,” he said in a statement.

The Bloomington campus is scheduled to kick off the commencements with a May 7 graduate ceremony, followed on May 8 by an undergraduate ceremony.

IU’s six regional campuses are expected to then hold their commencement ceremonies between May 10 and May 15 under the university’s online commencement schedule.

The ceremony on each campus is being planned in consultation with county health departments and IU’s Medical Response Team.

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