| About | Commencement | Undergraduate Commencement
This year's Undergraduate Commencement will be comprised of both virtual and in-person events. Our official virtual Undergraduate Commencement ceremony will premiere at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, 2021, but we will also be celebrating with an in-person Commencement experience on-campus for both the Class of 2021 as well as the Class of 2020.
This year commencing students can cross the stage in a special Commencement experience taking place on the Worcester State University campus. The event will be held over three days to accommodate all commencing students who desire to participate safely within current public health guidelines.
The Class of 2021 is made up of anyone who graduates in May 2021 and anyone who graduated in August 2020 or December 2020.
Register: Class of 2021
The Class of 2020 is made up of anyone who anyone who graduated in August 2019, December 2019, and May 2020.
Register: Class of 2020
Note: If you require an accommodation to participate in the Commencement experience, please email email@example.com. Requests must be received a minimum of 5 business days in advance.
The schedule for the Undergraduate Commencement experience is as follows:
Students and their guests will be allocated to specific time slots and asked to arrive by vehicle - one vehicle per graduating student. For students unable to participate by vehicle, an alternative will be provided. Additional information including how to participate, expectations for students and audience members, arrival times, and more will be sent to all commencing students in advance of the commencement.
After a year of losses both large and small, I am saddened that we cannot offer the type of full-scale, in-person commencement we would all like to see this May. Instead, we are planning a virtual ceremony, to be released on May 15, that will feature one of our most famous alumni as Commencement speaker, National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry. Students will also have an opportunity to “walk the stage” via appointment windows, with their friends and family present. I will be there to greet each graduate. My hope is that the ceremony itself will be a keepsake video, and that the celebratory stage event will add meaning to this life milestone.
A standing committee of the university recommends policy decisions to me about every academic ceremony. It includes representation from elected Class of 2021 student leaders. For this Commencement, the students indicated that their first priority was to have it take place in mid-May. As virus rates across the state escalated after Thanksgiving and spiked in December of 2020, and gathering size limitations fell back to levels seen the previous spring, it was clear that we would not be able to book our traditional venue, the DCU Center, for a live event that included roughly 1,000 graduates and another 10,000 friends and family. The academic ceremonies committee examined a range of options, including holding the event outdoors on our campus, but, given anticipated social-distancing requirements, none worked. (In fact, as I write this in February 2021, the state has an outdoor gathering size limit of 25 people.) The “virtual with stage-walking” recommendation, which I endorsed, was communicated to all students via an email from the committee chair, Henry Theriault, Ph.D. on January 4, 2021.
We seek to honor our 2021 graduates in the most meaningful way possible given planning lead times and current coronavirus-related restrictions, while respecting the students’ desire to keep the date of May 15th as their graduation day. I hope all graduating students will be able to participate in the live aspect of our event and that I will be able to pass on my congratulations for the remarkable achievement of staying on a path to graduation in the face of a global pandemic.
Barry M. Maloney, President
Online ordering of caps and gowns is now closed. On April 5, the Student Center Information Desk will have a limited amount of caps and gowns on sale. Cap, gown and tassel will be on sale for $30. Cash and OneCard will be accepted. The Information Desk hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you cannot make it to campus or if sizes sell out, we suggest ordering online through Amazon as they have a black cap, gown and gold tassel for purchase as well. As a reminder, caps and gowns are not mandatory for the virtual commencement ceremony or the in-person commencement experience event.
Email inquiries about Undergraduate Commencement to:
Class of firstname.lastname@example.org
Class of email@example.com