UNC Charlotte has decided to hold in-person commencement ceremonies in honor of students graduating in spring of 2021. They announced through the University's news page that these ceremonies would take place on May 13-15, rain or shine, and will be located in the Jerry Richardson Football Stadium. Students who graduated in 2020 are invited to attend the ceremonies as well and can bring three accompanying guests. To accommodate the current COVID-19 public health guidelines, all attending graduates will be able to reserve a maximum of three guest tickets.
Joanne Kendrach, the Assistant Director of University Events, serves as a member of the Commencement Committee. She explained that as the COVID-19 capacity limit is now at 50%, the University was able to increase their original number of tickets offered to guests from two to three.
"Graduating students were emailed an RSVP form, which must be completed by Wednesday, April 14," said Kendrach. "It is mandatory to complete the RSVP so that the Commencement Committee knows which students will attend." If a student fails to complete this form, they will not be assigned a seat number at their graduation ceremony.
Alongside in-person ceremonies, the University will both record the commencements as well as live-stream them to accommodate friends and family of the graduating class who are unable to attend. UNC Charlotte has announced that there will be four ceremonies, each catered towards specific colleges. Graduates attending their commencement ceremony can only attend the ceremony assigned to their specific college, with no option of switching dates with another graduating student. Deans and faculty will be invited to attend the designated ceremony for their college.
The class of 2020 had their graduation entirely virtual to follow safety guidelines as strictly as possible. However, the University has determined the conditions appropriate for safe in-person graduation to be held this year. If the local or state guidelines change, the University will modify its plans as needed and notify all graduates. Updates with the latest information will continuously be posted on the commencement website.