Liberty Moves 2021 Commencement Ceremony Online

Before the start of the Spring semester, Liberty University announced plans to hold the 2021 commencement virtually, replacing the in-person gathering in the middle of May. Due to state COVID-19 restrictions, Liberty will broadcast the event May 15 on the university website, celebrating students as they complete their college degrees. 

During the main ceremony, the keynote speaker and members of university leadership will address the students. Following this event, the schools within Liberty University will hold degree completion ceremonies for their respective students where the leadership of each school will address the graduates. Each graduate who chooses to participate in the virtual ceremony will be individually recognized and the names of every graduate will be read. 

Additionally, each graduating student will have a personalized slide during the presentation with their name, degree, honors, and may submit a photo if they choose to share it. Each of these degree presentation ceremonies will be planned and personalized by the schools. The layout may vary depending on the major. 

“An RSVP link will be sent out in late February to all graduates to indicate whether they plan to participate or not,” Lori Baker, the Program Manager for Commencement explained. “Graduates should keep an eye out in their Liberty email for important announcements.” 

More details about commencement on May 15, including the exact time of the event and the keynote speaker, will be released later in the semester. 

“The commencement date will not change,” Baker said. “We will review in late February if there are any changes to the current regulations from Governor Northam that we can make to our schedule and location, but at this point we are putting plans in place for a great virtual event for our graduates.” 

While Liberty University is currently planning to present commencement virtually, the University will continue to monitor the situation and make any possible changes by March 1 as stated in the commencement FAQs. 

According to the Liberty University website: “The decision to hold a virtual ceremony is not one the university made lightly. The safety of our graduates, their families, and the Liberty community is our utmost priority.” 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, last year’s commencement ceremony, rescheduled from May 14, its original date to Sept. 11, was canceled. The 2020 graduates will be honored at the upcoming ceremony and will have the opportunity to participate alongside the graduates of 2021. 

Additionally, the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 will be able to attend an in-person commencement ceremony in the future. 

“Graduates are welcome to attend a future Commencement Ceremony. We ask that these graduates reach out to the Commencement Team…in February of the year they wish to attend,” according to Liberty University’s website. 

For the most up-to-date information, check out the Liberty University Commencement web page.

Jacob Chace is a News Reporter.

One comment

  • This plan requires more logistics than lining up graduates 6 feet apart and allowing them to walk the stage and receive their diploma. The school could hold a religious service on the day of graduation which is exempt from attendance maximums and the campus could have placed screens campus wide for parents and families to watch the following graduation ceremony live, utilizing the entire campus to create the social distancing.

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