SRU announces in-person spring commencement plan for April 30-May 1

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Commencement in the fieldhouse

March 24, 2021

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — After careful deliberation, and with consideration to current state and federal public health guidance as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, Slippery Rock University President William Behre has announced that the University will celebrate its spring 2021 graduates with a two-day series of commencement ceremonies, April 30-May 1.

All ceremonies, which will combine traditional elements of commencement with adaptations to protect the health and safety of attendees at each of the five ceremonies, will take place outdoors at SRU's Mihalik-Thompson Stadium. Each of the ceremonies will also be livestreamed on www.sru.edu for those friends and family members unable to attend in person or who prefer to watch the ceremony online.

Dates and times for the ceremonies are as follows:

  • Graduate Studies, 6 p.m., Friday, April 30.
  • College of Education, 9 a.m., Saturday, May 1.
  • College of Business, Noon, Saturday, May 1.
  • College of Liberal Arts, 3 p.m., Saturday, May 1.
  • College of Health, Engineering and Science, 6 p.m., Saturday, May 1.

All undergraduate and graduate students who filed their intent to graduate in spring 2021 will receive information via their SRU email to attend the commencement ceremony for their assigned college.

All ceremonies will adhere to safety measures including required physical distancing and the mandatory wearing of face coverings. To adhere to physical distancing, each student will receive two tickets for guests to attend their commencement ceremony. Tickets will be mailed in the coming weeks to those graduating students who have applied to graduate. Should pandemic guidance change as to physical distancing and the University is able to accommodate additional guests, those tickets will be made available the day of the ceremonies.

Despite the precautions, the weekend's festivities will include most of the elements of a regular commencement, including remarks from Behre; Abbey Zink, provost and vice president for academic affairs; and the deans of the University's four colleges. Degrees will be conferred during each ceremony with graduates able to cross the commencement stage in their caps and gowns, and receive diploma covers and congratulations from the president and provost.

The event will also include the reading of the names of all participating graduates as they cross the stage, the formal moving of the tassel and the singing of the SRU alma mater.

Commencement will be held rain or shine. In the event of severe weather, ceremonies will be rescheduled. Graduates and guests should check the University's commencement website for updates in the event of severe weather.

Information about approved academic regalia (cap, gown, tassels) is available by contacting the SGA Bookstore at 724.738.2104.

As is the case with all commencements, diplomas will be mailed five to seven weeks following degree conferral to the student's permanent address that is on file with the University. That address was specified by each student during the online graduation application process.

Behre also announced that, in fulfilling his promise to the Class of 2020 that missed out on in-person celebrations due to the pandemic, SRU will welcome back all 2020 alumni for an in-person graduation ceremony during Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 15-17, this fall. More specific details will be forthcoming.

For more information, contact SRU's Commencement Office at commencementoffice@sru.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 | robb.king@sru.edu