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Important Information about Commencement for the Class of 2021

Dear Ithaca College Graduates of the Class of 2021 and Families and Supporters, 

We are thrilled to reach out to you today to share information about our plans to celebrate our Class of 2021, in person, at a Commencement on the Ithaca College campus on South Hill on Sunday, May 23. Students, your final year at IC has been absolutely unprecedented, and as we move through this spring semester healthy and strong, we are preparing a ceremony like no other, in true IC style—with spirit, joy, and a deep sense of community. 

We know that public health guidelines limiting the size of gatherings will undoubtedly be with us come May, but that has not stopped us from moving forward with plans to create an innovative in-person and student-centered Commencement that brings our Class of 2021 together. We want to thank the entire Commencement planning committee—about 30 students, staff, and faculty—and the college’s graduate council, both for their energy and for their diligence in crafting these celebrations. 

We also want to offer all of our graduating students our deepest appreciation. We know this year has been different and challenging, and we thank you for walking through this time with such grace, determination, and care. We are so grateful and so inspired by you! 

Commencement Information 

Undergraduate Students 
The celebration of our undergraduate students will occur on Sunday, May 23, in the Athletics and Events Center. Each student will walk across the stage in the Glazer Arena in full regalia, hear their name called individually, and receive their diploma cover and class medallion.  

This year, graduating students will not be automatically grouped by school. We are excited to offer our students the opportunity to choose to sign up to participate in this event with groups of your friends and classmates. More specific details about this—including how to sign up—will be sent to students directly as we get closer to May. 
 
Understanding the need to maintain appropriate physical distance, we are planning for a safe procession of students into and through the arena. We are incredibly fortunate that Chrissy Guest, associate professor in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences, and Studies, and Steve TenEyck, professor and associate chair, Department of Theatre Arts, are bringing their incredible expertise and creativity to bear in this moment and helping us prepare a unique and energetic experience for graduates throughout every stage of this procession.  

Students who choose not to attend Commencement in person will have an opportunity to participate and be celebrated in an individual way virtually. 

Graduate Students 
We will celebrate our graduate students on Friday, May 21, at 4:00 p.m. EDT in the A&E Center’s Glazer Arena. Graduate students not in attendance will be able to participate in this celebration virtually. Students who are able to join us will receive their hoods and diploma covers during the event. Please stay tuned for more information and details about this celebration. 

To all of our graduating students in the Class of 2021:
The Commencement committee will provide more details about our plans for May as they solidify. Right now, you can find additional high-level information on the Commencement website including topics such as testing, health and safety guidelines, how to order regalia, etc.

Questions about Commencement should be directed to commencement@ithaca.edu

For Families and Supporters 
Because of our commitment to center our graduating students’ ability to celebrate together as a class and due to our ongoing and necessary compliance with New York State guidelines, we cannot accommodate guests at Commencement or our graduate ceremony. Please note as well that our campus’s COVID-related visitor policy will remain in effect. This is far from ideal, and our hearts ache along with yours. However, we must keep the focus on our students while ensuring our ability to comply with health and safety regulations. 

We will provide a webcast of both ceremonies for parents and loved ones to be able to share in this special moment, which will include opportunities for family and friends to see and be seen by their graduating student, via Zoom, as they cross the stage. 

Students, we are so very excited to celebrate you in May. The opportunity to mark this major milestone with an in-person event on our campus is a bright beacon of hope and light to guide us through the remainder of this spring semester and close out what has been a truly remarkable year. 

Best wishes, 

Shirley M. Collado 
President 

La Jerne Terry Cornish 
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs 

David Prunty, Doreen Hettich-Atkins, MaryAnn Taylor and Vikki Levine 
Commencement Committee Co-Chairs