Despite initial claims that Covid would blow over in a matter of weeks, it is still uncertain whether in-person graduation ceremonies will be possible for the class of 2021. However, most colleges are cautiously optimistic and are setting tentative dates for graduation ceremonies next year.
The rapid spread of the Coronavirus in 2020 saw this year’s graduating class celebrating largely over Zoom. Makeup graduation dates were also postponed before being suspended completely for the time being. Now, both current and past seniors are hoping 2021 will bring in-person ceremonies back.
These ceremonies depend on progress toward treating the virus and toward being able to safely hold large gatherings. When this will happen is difficult to predict with an uncertain timeline. New vaccines are being developed and tested daily to find a viable solution to what has become a global priority. Once a vaccine is created, there will likely initially be a shortage of supplies, which will result in health care workers and those at higher risk being prioritized for vaccines. Once production increases, the vaccine will be available to the general public.
With half a year until graduation, there is great potential for strides to be taken in the treatment of the Coronavirus, and for in-person ceremonies to make a return. Continue to follow updates from your university, as it is possible these decisions will be made on a case by case basis, or that some schools will opt for virtual or limited in-person celebrations. While the outcome is still uncertain, university officials are operating under the assumption that 2021 in-person ceremonies will happen.
(as of Nov. 3, 2020)