Graduation to move to just one ceremony this year

By: Brenden Schwartz, Staff Writer

Graduation is coming up in a couple of months, and there will be some changes from last year.

The greatest change is that there will no longer be two commencement ceremonies, said Lori Gibbon, Newman University Registrar and co-chair of the Commencement Committee.

Rather than having a separate commencement for graduate degree recipients, those graduates will get their degrees at the same ceremony where bachelor’s degrees are awarded.

The other major change will be removal of the mask mandate. There likely will not be masks required nor any restrictions limiting the number of guests in attendance, Gibbon said, adding that Newman will adhere to CDC guidelines, so if masks were to become mandatory again, there could be another change.

“We are happy to have more relaxed guidelines so that more people can celebrate our graduates,” Gibbon said. “It is such a joyous time that we want every family member that wants to participate to be able to do so.”

The baccalaureate Mass will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, and the commencement will be at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 6.

The baccalaureate mass will be the same as last year. It will take place in St. John’s Chapel in Sacred Heart Hall. It will be a celebration of the graduating students, and some pre-selected students will be asked to share memories from their time at Newman. Graduates should wear their gowns, but no caps will be permitted inside the chapel.

The Commencement Ceremony will be held at Hartman Arena as it was last year.

“It’s great having the larger venue since we simply outgrew the Central Christian Community Church used in previous years,” Gibbon said.

The speaker at this year’s ceremony will be last year’s winner of the Teaching Excellence award: Dr. Larry Straub from the school of business. An honorary degree recipient also may be asked to speak, she said.

Vanessa Rials, Director of Multicultural Engagement on campus, has been in communication with graduating students about graduation details. She said that the ceremony should last only about two hours and will be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person.

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