| About | Commencement | Undergraduate Commencement
The virtual Undergraduate Commencement ceremony will go online at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, 2021. The 2021 commencement individual walks will take place on the Worcester State University campus and be held over three days to accommodate all commencing students who desire to participate. The schedule is as follows:
Students and their guests will be given specific times for their individual walk-through experiences and asked to arrive by vehicle. 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 5,000 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
The ordering site through Balfour for the undergraduate cap/gown/tassel package will go live on Monday, February 15th and will close on Monday, March 15th. All orders will ship to home for free courtesy of the 2021 Class Committee. All purchases are non-refundable. Caps and gowns are $25.
Please visit https://www.buildagrad.com/worcesterbachelor to order. Make sure the ordering page says “Worcester State University-Bachelor Student” to order as an undergraduate.
If you need assistance while on the site or have questions regarding your order, please contact Balfour directly at 1-800-683-4771 from 8:30am to 4:30pm (CST) Monday-Friday or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For general inquiries on caps and gowns, please email email@example.com.