Good afternoon Class of 2020 and 2021 graduates,
I sincerely hope that each of you were as excited to receive the latest Commencement announcement as we were to send it. St. Louis County has approved Washington University to host in-person ceremonies of 500 graduates or less, on Francis Field, with two guests per graduate. We are thrilled that as long as conditions remain favorable, we will be able to celebrate you in-person in May! These ceremonies will be a hybrid version of our traditional university ceremony, combined with some of the important elements of the school ceremonies. Please find the ceremony schedule below for the Classes of 2020 and 2021.
Next, I wanted to take a moment to address questions we are receiving regarding the quarantine language used in the communication that was sent February 26.
– We are asking all students and guests to please significantly limit their interactions with others for the 14 days leading up to your Commencement ceremony. This includes staying at home as much as possible, washing your hands frequently, wearing a mask if you must be in contact with anyone outside your home, and keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and others outside of your household.
– Please don’t travel if you’re sick. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or loss of taste or smell), stay home. Bring masks and hand sanitizer with you and use both while traveling.
– Wear a mask at all times in airports, on planes, or in any closed space with other people. If you have access to a disposable surgical mask (also known as an isolation mask), please consider wearing one during flights, or while riding trains or buses. If you are flying, double check to make sure you choose an airline that requires and enforces masking for everyone on board. Same with train or bus travel – be sure to check the policies of the transportation companies you choose and only travel with one that requires masks. If you are seated near a passenger who is not wearing a mask, ask to be moved to another seat.
– Use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces in airports or other transportation hubs. Please do your best to avoid gathering with groups of people, paying particular attention to boarding areas, information desks, and other places where a crowd may form.
1. If you haven’t already done so, Class of 2021 graduates must file your intent to graduate as soon as possible through your school registrar’s office. The intent to graduate deadline to participate this May was December 18, 2020, but you may still complete the ITG form. If you do not do this, you won’t receive email updates from the Commencement office, and you will be unable to register to participate in Commencement.
2. Registration to participate in a ceremony is required. The registration period will be open from March 5 – 19. Graduates are required to register yourselves and your guests at that time. Due to the COVID restrictions and guidelines provided by St. Louis County, we are unable to accept registrations after March 19. Registration is now open.
a. Guest tickets are non-transferrable.
b. We are required to utilize a contact tracing company, and therefore guest information is a necessity. You must supply information for your guest(s) when you register through Marching Order. If you have a change to a guest name, please notify us no later than Friday, April 30, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
c. Each graduate and guest will be required to present their ticket to participate day of. You will receive these after you have registered in Marching Order.
d. All graduates must complete the registration form even if you plan to celebrate virtually or are unable to attend in-person.
3. Photography will be allowed at our designated stations spread throughout campus. These locations will be communicated in advance with other important logistical information like parking, arrival times, and regalia distribution.
4. Regalia will be available to order through the Commencement website beginning today. We will be in touch at a later date with details regarding safe pick-up and drop-off locations on the Danforth Campus. Graduates participating virtually will also have an opportunity to rent or purchase traditional regalia.
5. Celebrations – Alumni Relations has already started to plan the 1st Year Reunion for Class of 2021 and the 2nd Year Reunion for Class of 2020 in the Spring of 2022! Please watch for additional information from The Alumni Association later this summer with additional details regarding your celebration weekend.
6. Engagement – Please watch for opportunities for students, family members, faculty, staff and other members of the university community that cannot participate in-person, to engage virtually.
Thank you for your attention and for taking time to read the important items listed above. We are looking forward to celebrating each of you and all of your incredible accomplishments soon. Congratulations!
DIRECTOR OF COMMENCEMENT