UArizona plans graduation ceremonies in May, full return to campus in fall
PHOENIX – The University of Arizona revealed plans Monday that anticipate the transition to a post-COVID reality.
The Tucson school said it aims to hold in-person commencement ceremonies in May and then offer most classes fully in person when the fall semester starts in August.
While there won’t be a university-wide graduation ceremony like in years past, the school is looking at a series of smaller events, President Robert Robbins said during his weekly COVID-19 briefing.
The ceremonies, tentatively scheduled for May 11-18 at Arizona Stadium, would be limited to students who want to participate and be streamed online for friends and family to watch.
“We’re all looking forward to coming together, in a different but memorable way, to celebrate the academic achievements of the class of 2021,” Robbins said.
The school’s May 2020 commencement, when the global coronavirus pandemic was in its early stages, was completely a virtual affair.
Robbins said he expects all of the faculty and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by the spring and hopes all students can get their shots before leaving for summer break.
“We’re also looking forward to the fall 2021 semester … and we intend to provide an in-person learning experience for all of those students who desire to be on campus,” he said.
Fall registration will begin in early April.
UArizona remains in Stage 2 of its COVID-19 instruction plan, with fully in-person and flex formats for classes of under 50 students and remote learning for larger classes.
The current semester started in January classes online semester because of continued high coronavirus case numbers. About a month later it moved into Stage 2.