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IU Kokomo planning in-person, outdoor spring commencement ceremony, for graduates only

Feb 23, 2021
IU Kokomo will host an in-person, outdoor commencement ceremony for its graduates.
IU Kokomo will host an in-person, outdoor commencement ceremony for its graduates.

KOKOMO, Ind. — In accordance with its COVID-19 policies, Indiana University Kokomo will honor its graduates with an in-person, outdoor commencement on Tuesday, May 11.

President Michael A. McRobbie announced the ceremonies in an email to students Monday (February 22), noting that in-person attendance will be limited to graduates only, with family and friends invited to join the celebration virtually.

The ceremony is open not only to 2021 graduates, but also members of the Class of 2020, whose commencement was postponed because of the pandemic.

“Commencement is one of the most beloved ceremonies at any university across the nation, and it was an agonizing decision for us to have to cancel it last May,” said McRobbie. “We were all bitterly disappointed this was necessary.

“But given IU’s success in keeping our campuses and communities safe, as well as our nation’s progress in fighting the pandemic, we believe it will be possible this May to hold in-person, outdoor commencement ceremonies for all of our students on all of our campuses, and to do so safely and consistent with our public health policies.”

Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke is pleased to be able to honor the graduates.

“Commencement is my favorite day of the year at IU Kokomo, and I am so happy we will be able to recognize this great achievement for the Class of 2021,” she said. “We also look forward to welcoming back the Class of 2020, to finally celebrate them as well. We’ve worked hard during the last year to make this occasion possible, which makes it especially meaningful to all of us.”

In addition to the December 2020, May 2021, and August 2021 graduates who were already eligible to participate, the ceremony is open to those from December 2019, May 2020, and August 2020. Graduates who cannot attend may participate virtually.

IU Kokomo’s ceremony will be planned in consultation with the Howard County Health Department and IU’s Medical Response Team, which has led the university’s comprehensive public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic for almost a year.

Graduates who participate must reserve a spot, will be required to indicate their interest in attending,  and undergo specific COVID-19 testing requirements.

“We’re approaching commencement with the same cautious optimism we used to make crucial decisions that allowed IU campuses to remain open throughout the fall,” said Dr. Aaron Carroll, director of mitigation testing, and distinguished professor of pediatrics and health outcomes research leader at the IU School of Medicine. “Limiting ceremonies to graduates only enables us to use the routine testing and public health guidelines in place at all of IU’s campuses to ensure a safe celebration.”

All plans are subject to change based on the public health outlook in the community. All IU public safety protocols, including wearing a mask and physically distancing, must be followed during commencement.

For the most up-to-date information, go to the IU Kokomo commencement webpage.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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