Monday, March 8, 2021
The University of Arizona will celebrate spring 2021 commencement with a series of in-person ceremonies with the hope of honoring graduates of 2020 as well, UA President Robert C. Robbins said Monday morning.
Commencement is tentatively scheduled from Tuesday, May 11, to Tuesday, May 18, and will be live streamed and recorded.
“We're going to have many different smaller venues in order to be safe,” said Robbins. “The in-person component of the ceremonies will be for students only.”
While the planning is ongoing, the hope is to give graduates the Arizona Stadium experience, said Robbins.
Robbins paints a picture of roughly 1,000 students socially distanced and masked, each one walking to the stage and getting their moment on the Jumbotron, then walking off and out of the stadium.
“This past year has obviously been very, very challenging and I know that has had a significant impact on the senior year of this graduating class,” said Robbins. “We're all looking forward to coming together in a different, but memorable way to celebrate the academic achievements of the class of 2021.”
The Class of 2020 celebrated through a virtual commencement. Robbins wants to honor these students as well.
“They are looking at what they can do to incorporate a big celebration for those that missed out on 2020,” said Holly Jensen, vice president of communications for the university.
The university, with the help of public health officials, will continue to monitor health conditions, said Jensen.
Eligible students will receive an email in the coming weeks with more information. For updates on commencement, visit commencement.arizona.edu/
In-person learning for fall 2021
The University of Arizona plans to offer in-person learning to all students for the fall 2021 semester, said Robbins.
With COVID-19 metrics continuing to decline, Robbins expects the university to move into Stage 3 by the spring, then Stage 4 in the fall, provided most faculty, staff and students are vaccinated.
“We plan to return most courses at the main campus to fully in-person formats, with some courses offered as flex in-person as appropriate for public health needs,” Robbins said. Remote options will continue to be offered.
Registration for fall 2021 will begin in early April.
Robbins acknowledges these opportunities are due in large part to continued testing and vaccination efforts.
Since August of last year, the university has administered 205,743 COVID-19 tests, and since January the UA POD has administered almost 50,000 vaccines.
The university’s rate of transmission is still below 1%, with 0.2% positivity from Feb. 25 to March 6.
As of Monday morning, UA POD had about 2,000 vaccine appointments available for those eligible throughout the week, and will open additional appointments this week for the following week as they receive more vaccines, said Jensen.
To set up an appointment go to podvaccine.azdhs.gov/ or call 1-602-542-1000.