CCSU’s Commencement to be Held in Person


Ryan Jones

Graduates will be seated on the field while guests will be socially distanced in the stands.

Ryan Jones, Editor-in-Chief

After a long deliberation over safety protocols, Central Connecticut State University announced on March 24 that its commencement ceremony for the spring 2021 semester will be held in person.

This is CCSU’s first in-person ceremony since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s ceremony will look different from previous graduations. Instead of one event with all of the graduating class, there will be four separate ones taking place on May 22 and May 23.

Students will be grouped into their respective schools for each ceremony. The Carol A. Ammon College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences graduates on May 22 at 9 a.m. and the School of Education & Professional Studies will follow at 2 p.m.

The commencement ceremonies for the School of Engineering, Science & Technology and School of Business will take place on May 23, again separated at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.

The graduating students will be seated on CCSU’s Arute football field. Each student is granted two tickets for guests, who will be seated in the bleachers. Both seats will be spaced out in compliance with CDC guidelines.

Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. John Tully said that this year’s ceremony means even more after going through the pandemic for the past year.

“For all intents and purposes, once you graduate and you get the degree that’s all well and good,” Tully said, “but there is something very powerful about coming together as a community and going through these rituals that sustain us. In these days that have been so difficult for us as a university community and so difficult as a country, some return to normality and some celebration of what our graduates have been able to accomplish is just extremely satisfying.”

Tully said that CCSU’s goal was “always to try and do as much as we could to have students on the ground for a commencement,” though they faced many roadblocks in planning due to regulations and guidelines that have frequently changed.

The commencement schedule leaves time between ceremonies for a deep sanitation but also to stagger attendants upon arrival.

“It doesn’t do us any good to have spacing in the stands if we have 1000 people crammed and waiting to get through the tiny gates at Arute,” Tully said.

“We want to be sure that from the time that someone gets on campus to the time they leave that they’re in a very safe place,” Tully said.

The graduating students will not be the only ones celebrating this May, Tully said.

“From a faculty perspective it’s also a really positive day for us. We feel a sense of pride. I know several students who will be participating in commencement that I had in class or were my advisee and being a part of that makes us feel really proud of what we do at Central. We are here because we care so much about teaching and our students, those times that you can celebrate that are really important. It’s part of what it means to be part of a community,” Tully said.

Further information regarding the commencement ceremonies will be sent out to student emails.