The University of Wisconsin announced today they will celebrate spring commencement with graduate-only ceremonies in-person at Camp Randall.
According to a statement from the university, students have faced many challenges after a year of the pandemic and they are pleased to announce plans to hold in-person graduation ceremonies for spring 2021.
The in-person gatherings will be limited, with graduates only in attendance and no other guests. Family members and friends of graduates can watch a live stream of the ceremonies with other virtual participation options.
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In the statement, UW says this approach will allow six feet of physical distancing, because Camp Randall cannot accommodate both graduates and guests while physically distancing.
“Our students have lost so much during this pandemic,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in the statement. “While I am disappointed that it is still not possible for all our Badger family members to attend, I am very pleased that our graduates will again gather and celebrate together in our commencement tradition.”
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The in-person ceremonies depend on continued progress in controlling the spread of COVID-19 on the UW campus and in the community. Additionally, health and safety requirements will include face coverings and participating graduates will need to be a part of the Safer Badgers testing program.
Participating graduates will also need to show a green Badger Badge on their Safer Badgers app — which signifies adherence to campus safety protocols — for entrance into Camp Randall. The green Badger Badge also includes having a recent negative COVID-19 test result on file.
Senior class president Alec Bukowiec said in the statement he is very excited about celebrating with his fellow graduates in Camp Randall this May.
“Even though this year’s ceremonies will look different, we can still Jump Around, sing Varsity and throw our caps in the air,” Bukowiec said. “And to Badger families everywhere, I want to assure you that the senior class officer team will be working closely with the Parent and Family Program, the Wisconsin Alumni Association and other campus organizations to create meaningful opportunities to participate for those who cannot attend in-person.”
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The ceremonies will include speeches, student entertainment and the conferral of degrees. The university will announce the spring commencement speaker in the near future.
Bukowiec also said in the statement that during the weeks ahead, students must remain committed to COVID-19 testing and to slowing the spread both on and off-campus.
“While today calls for excitement and hope, we must continue to keep positive case numbers low in order to realize this opportunity to be at Camp Randall,” Bukowiec said.