UT to hold in-person 2021 commencement ceremonies

Bri'On Whiteside, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio
·2 min read

Mar. 9—The University of Toledo announced Tuesday it will hold multiple in-person commencement ceremonies for the class of 2021 while adhering to coronavirus safety protocols.

Now that the state of Ohio is allowing outdoor events at sporting venues to reopen at 30 percent capacity, spring commencement is able to take place May 8 in the Glass Bowl.

After a long wait and several virtual commencements, graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters; the John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Health and Human Services; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; and University College will be recognized during the ceremony.

According to UT officials, graduating students will be split into a minimum of two groups for separate ceremonies, and guests will be limited with tickets required. All attendees will be required to wear face masks and maintain a minimum six-foot distance from any attendees outside of their households.

Graduates from the class of 2020 are also invited to participate in the May ceremonies. Returning graduates are required to register.

UT President Gregory Postel said university administrators and staff are eager to return to in-person commencement ceremonies.

"We're excited to have the opportunity to provide our graduates with an in-person celebration. Our Rockets continue to demonstrate focus, perseverance, and strength through their academic success, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19 during the last year," Mr. Postel said. We look forward to celebrating the Class of 2021's achievements and resilience at our in-person spring commencement ceremonies."

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UT alumna Irma Olguin, Jr. will deliver the keynote address virtually at the ceremonies.

Ms. Olguin, a 2004 UT graduate with a bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering, is co-founder and chief executive officer of Bitwise Industries in Fresno, Calif. Since graduating, Ms. Olguin has worked to blaze a trail of inclusivity for women and minorities in the tech industry.

Last month, Bitwise Industries announced it is investing in Toledo with plans to open a branch in the Jefferson Center building — Toledo's historic former post office — to provide paid apprenticeships to students from diverse and underserved communities to learn tech skills.

The colleges of Law; Medicine and Life Sciences; and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will each hold separate in-person ceremonies. And those receiving doctoral degrees will have the opportunity to participate in a separate hooding ceremony.

According to Bowling Green State University's website, university officials are also exploring the possibility of in-person commencement.

First Published March 9, 2021, 11:33am