University plans for in-person processions over Graduation Weekend


Daily file photo by Caty Buchaniec

Graduating students during 2019 commencement. The University announced in addition to a remote commencement ceremony, the Class of 2021 would have the option for an in-person procession.

James Pollard, Print Managing Editor

Northwestern hopes to hold in-person processions in tandem with a virtual commencement over the course of Graduation Weekend, according to a Tuesday email sent to Class of 2021 graduating students.

While the University doesn’t anticipate statewide regulations — which currently allow gatherings of 50 people indoors and up to 100 people outdoors — to relax much by June, administrators said they intend to “arrange a safe and meaningful academic procession.”

The potential processions would be held from June 12 through June 14, when the commencement will happen virtually.

Graduates from the Class of 2021 can expect to receive a survey Wednesday gauging interest in the procession plans. Those who register would proceed across the stage donning regalia when their name is read, with the option for photos. While the email said attendance would be “kept to a very small number,” the event would be livestreamed.

“Jointly, these events salute your attainment of a grand academic goal and mark your induction into a worldwide network of Wildcat alumni,” the email said. “Some of you are first-generation college graduates; others are triple-purple grads with multiple Northwestern degrees; all of you are cherished, lifelong members of the Northwestern family. We are committed to honoring this diversity of experiences and your individual accomplishments in memorable ways.”

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