By Katie Peters – Co-Editor-In-Chief
Commencement can be an important milestone for many people. The decision to hold in-person Commencement ceremonies this May, rather than virtual ceremonies, for the classes of 2020 and 2021 gives seniors and alumni the chance to be celebrated and recognized for their hard work by the whole community.
The decision was made as a result of a survey sent out to the classes of 2020 and 2021 Undergraduate and Graduate students. Out of the 561 people surveyed, 77.5 percent of students said walking across the stage was one of the most important elements of commencement.
I can still remember the buzz of energy on Taylor Field the morning of May 11, 2019 during the class of 2019’s Undergraduate Commencement ceremony. Watching graduates that I had looked up to for a year wait in excitement to receive their degrees was heart-warming and motivating. Providing that same opportunity to celebrate for the classes of 2020 and 2021 is a way of recognizing the dedication and sacrifice many students gave to graduate during unprecedented times.
When the class of 2020 decided they did not want a virtual Commencement ceremony, the University was quick to change plans. Despite the uncertainty over the past year, these alumni have waited to celebrate this milestone together with their Lasell community. Holding the two undergraduate ceremonies on the same day provides a chance for alumni to reconnect with more of the community.
With COVID-19 precautions in place, such as physical distancing and limited crowds, the University hopes to keep the risk of transmission low. However, attendees are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test for this event. Guests are asked to monitor their symptoms, watch for exposure and are not required to self-isolate before attending.
By holding these ceremonies in person, these seniors and alumni will hopefully be recognized for their tenacity over the past year.