On Wednesday afternoon, University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes announced via her Twitter account that the University will be holding an in-person spring 2021 commencement ceremony at University Stadium on May 15 at 9 a.m.
The announcement comes as the city of Albuquerque has seen its lowest average COVID-19 case numbers since September 2020.
“I want to say that I am thrilled to give you the exciting news that we are going to be offering an in-person commencement for our spring 2021 graduates,” Stokes said in a video on Twitter.
The decision to hold the ceremony at University Stadium was made to ensure the attendees are able to adhere to social distancing guidelines. The ceremony is also being limited to only the graduates and dignitaries, so as to further minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Friends and family will be able to watch the event via livestream.
“We have not fought back this COVID-19 pandemic quite yet, so we are still having to take really serious measures to make sure we keep everyone safe,” Stokes said.
Stokes said that while this commencement is probably not what the spring class of 2021 had imagined, she’s delighted that the University can offer an in-person ceremony during this time.
“As we start to transition into a world that feels more normal, I think that this is a big deal,” Stokes said. “We are all in this together and doing it together.”
The announcement comes after the University made the decision to hold the graduation ceremony for both the spring and the fall class of 2020 solely online.
Stokes ended the video by speaking directly to the class of 2020 graduates, promising that they will receive information in the near future about a belated in-person commencement ceremony.
Further information about the upcoming spring commencement will be sent out to graduating students via email, and UNM plans to update their graduation website with further details on how to register for the ceremony.
This is a developing story, it will be updated as more details become available
Gino Gutierrez is the managing editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @GGutierrez48