UW-W Announces Plans for a Hybrid Spring 2021 Commencement

(UW-W press release) The spring 2021 commencement at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will be held in a hybrid format, allowing graduates an opportunity to cross the stage in cap and gown and receive their degrees in person, and providing the speeches, music and other traditional elements in a virtual format. About 1,775 students from both the Whitewater and Rock County campuses are expected to participate.

“We know from students and their families that crossing the stage is a powerful and emotional moment in the academic journey,” said Chancellor Dwight C. Watson. “Our Warhawks have worked to achieve this important milestone under remarkably difficult circumstances. We are happy to offer our graduates the opportunity to take this important step in person.” 

On Friday, May 14, students will be recorded crossing the stage at either Young Auditorium or Kachel Fieldhouse in cap and gown as their names are read. Masks must be worn at all times and social distancing must be observed in keeping with the university’s COVID-19 protocols. Graduates will be contacted regarding their specific line-up time and location.

Then, on Saturday, May 15, the entire recorded ceremony — including students crossing the stage — will be shared online at 1 p.m., allowing graduates to watch it with their friends and family members. The video will also be available for viewing at a later time.

Photographers will be on hand to take photos on May 14 as students cross the stage, and students will receive printed commencement booklets. Because of limitations on gatherings, we cannot accommodate any guests. And, because of space limitations, the ceremony is reserved for 2021 graduates.

The Commencement Committee, in close consultation with students, university leadership, and the Emergency Operations Committee, carefully and thoroughly considered different options for the format of the ceremony. It was determined that an outdoor ceremony was not possible because Perkins Stadium, the only venue large enough to accommodate a graduating class of this size and their guests, is not available due to renovations beginning this spring and continuing into the summer. The hybrid option at Kachel Fieldhouse/Young Auditorium provides for an indoor opportunity for students to cross the stage and receive their degrees in person, in keeping with social distancing practices for safety.

More information on UW-Whitewater’s spring 2021 commencement will be released at a later date. This information and any additional updates will be posted to uww.edu/commencement

Graduation regalia for both undergraduate and graduate students is available for purchase from the University Bookstore. Caps, gowns, tassels and diploma frames can be purchased either in-store or through the University Bookstore website

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