No more virtual nonsense, Northeastern says: It's going to let its seniors graduate outdoors, even if that means holding two commencement ceremonies to safely handle them all. The school is also looking at possibly holding a separate outdoor celebration for people who had to graduate virtually in 2020.
In an open letter, a school vice president writes:
Our current plan is for all undergraduate students in the Class of 2021 (December 2020 graduates, May and August 2021 degree candidates) to celebrate commencement at a premiere, outdoor Boston venue on Saturday, May 8th. Based on a set of pandemic projections provided by our faculty experts, and anticipated capacity restrictions, our plan envisions two outdoor ceremonies designed to accommodate all eligible undergraduates (half in each ceremony) and allow each graduating senior to invite one or possibly two guests. We understand the important role family plays in commencement, and we will make every effort to include as many guests as possible for each graduate.
The school is looking at a separate ceremony for graduate students - and at another ceremony for 2020 graduates, although it does not yet have a specific place in mind for last year's grads:
We are extremely cognizant of the fact that our May 2020 graduates did not have a true Northeastern commencement ceremony last spring. Our Alumni Relations office continues to work with members of the Class of 2020 to determine interest in a Boston-based celebration this spring - perhaps on Friday, May 7th. We believe that graduates of the Class of 2020 should work collaboratively with us to envision, shape, and help execute a celebration that honors their achievements and acknowledges their place in the heart of the Northeastern family.