President Patrick F. Leahy Ed.D., and Communication faculty member Matt Harmon discussed commencement plans on their weekly “Monmouth Mondays” podcast on Friday, Apr. 9.
Leahy explained how the University has been in close contact with the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, awaiting concrete commencement plans to share with the campus community.
“I recognize how important this ritual is,” Leahy said. “We [were always] committed to having in person ceremonies, we just didn’t have clarity up until now. The Office of The Secretary of Higher Education in the state has given us the parameters that we feel we need in order to host, once again, fairly traditional, in-person graduation ceremonies for all of our graduates this spring.”
Commencement ceremonies will be held in Kessler Stadium, rain or shine. Those graduating will be seated socially distanced from one another on the field, and three guests will be permitted per graduate to sit within the stadium itself. Masks are mandatory, and social distancing guidelines apply to guests as well.
“The schedule for the ceremonies is based on when you have finished your degree requirements, what degree you will be receiving, and what school you are a part of here at the University,” the official commencement announcement specifies. “What school you are part of here at the University cannot be changed at this time.”
“I’m so proud of this because a lot of other colleges and Universities are not going this way,” Leahy said. “To be fair to them, maybe their local health organizations are not allowing it, but we’ve been holding out and pushing the Office of The Secretary of Higher Education all in an effort to try to have in-person ceremonies. We will this year.”
Ceremonies will take place over four days, the 12th, 13th, 19th, and 20th of May. Day one will feature all graduates completing degrees at the end of the fall 2020 semester, as well as Master and Doctoral candidates in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Business and the School of Education later that afternoon.
The following day will feature Master and Doctoral candidates in the School of Nursing and Health Studies, the School of Social Work and the School of Science.
The next week will center on Bachelor degree candidates in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Bachelor degree candidates for the School of Nursing and Health Studies and the School of Social Work. The final day features Bachelor degree candidates in the School of Business, and Bachelor degree candidates in the School of Education and the School of Science.
A full schedule of events can be found at monmouth.edu/commencement.
PHOTO COURTESY of Anthony DePrimo