In-person graduation to resume in WTAMU

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Photo of a graduation cap and rolled diploma certificate graduates receive for graduation ceremonies

 

Graduation ceremonies across the world have had to be reverted to virtual ones, since the outbreak of COVID-19. In a press release by the Office of Communication and marketing, West Texas A&M University has announced intentions of commencing in-person graduation ceremonies on May 8, 2021. The ceremonies are intended to include the opportunity for the spring 2021 graduates, as well as all 2020 graduates to celebrate their accomplishments with between 6 to 10 family and friends in a safe manner. If you want to livestream your high school graduation ceremony so other people who can’t attend personally can still be able to watch it digitally, click here for info.

The graduation ceremony is intended to be in three time-sections: 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m and 4 p.m. The 9 a.m. ceremony will celebrate graduates in the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities. The 12:30 p.m. event will honor graduates of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business and the College of Engineering. The 4 p.m. exercises will commemorate graduates of the College of Education and Social Sciences and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

“We have not held an outdoor ceremony in several decades but feel fortunate to be in a position to recognize 2020 and 2021 graduates in Buffalo Stadium, which is an excellent facility to celebrate a momentous occasion.” said Dr. Neil Terry, executive vice president and provost

All eligible graduates are required to complete registration online for space reservations. This is to enforce all safety and health protocols. All other details about the ceremony and registration process will be sent out to all eligible 2021 graduates. Students who graduated in 2020 will also be sent their graduation details. Registration will be open until April 7. Graduates who have changed contact information are seriously advised to reach out to their respective dean’s office in March to obtain the registration information.

“I am super excited that they are going to have an in-person one and that way, friends and families can come, and it doesn’t feel like we are being robbed,” said Grayson Ellet, a senior and applied communications major. “I am only grateful for the students to be able to walk across the stage physically.”

The number of guests at the stadium would largely be dependent on Governor Gregg Abbott’s outdoor stadium guidelines. Despite what the limitations would be, family and friends still get to be in attendance by watching from the stadium seating. Graduating students on the other hand, would be seated in rows on the field spaces to provide 6-foot distancing around each chair. Parking would also be available in lots to the north and south of the stadium. The First United Bank Center would also have extra parking spaces. Shuttle services would be made available too.

“I am really excited that it’s going to happen, and it’s like a big milestone so it’s nice to be able to celebrate it with people who you’ve gone through the journey with, and also letting the families come and celebrate with us,” said Aften Peterson, a senior, agriculture and media communications major.

The ceremony also will be livestreamed at wtamu.edu and on WTAMU’s YouTube channel.

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