JMU announces plans to hold in-person Commencement ceremonies this May

JMU announces plans to hold in-person Commencement ceremonies this May
File image of JMU Graduation in 2017. (Source: WHSV)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — James Madison University (JMU) announced Wednesday afternoon its plans to hold in-person Commencement ceremonies this May at Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field.

The announcement comes shortly after Governor Ralph Northam’s new guidance on capacity limits for graduation events and commencement events.

JUST ANNOUNCED: Based on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s new guidance on capacity limits for graduations and...

Posted by James Madison University on Wednesday, March 17, 2021

According to a press release from Governor Northam’s office, graduation events held outdoors will be capped at 5,000 people or 30 percent of the venue capacity, whichever is less. Graduation events held indoors may have up to 500 people, or 30 percent of the venue capacity, whichever is less.

JMU says all academic colleges and the Graduate School will have in-person ceremonies so that all graduates can be individually recognized. The university-wide main ceremony will be presented virtually.

The schedule for JMU commencement ceremonies is as follows:

  • Thursday, May 6 at 6 p.m. — Virtual, university-wide ceremony with guest speaker Dr. Joanne Gabbin (will be streamed online)
  • Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m. — The Graduate School ceremony
  • Friday, May 7 at 10 a.m. — College of Arts and Letters ceremony
  • Friday, May 7 at 3 p.m. — College of Business ceremony
  • Sunday, May 9 at 10 a.m. — College of Science and Mathematics; College of Education, University Studies; and Professional and Continuing Education ceremonies
  • Sunday, May 9 at 1:30 p.m. — College of Visual and Performing Arts; College of Integrated Science and Engineering ceremonies
  • Sunday, May 9 at 5 p.m. — College of Health and Behavioral Studies ceremonies

JMU says in-person ceremonies will take place rain or shine and will not be rescheduled or transitioned inside due to current public health guidance. All ceremonies will also be streamed online.

The Grad Walk planned in lieu of in-person Commencement ceremonies is now canceled.

Graduates will receive additional information in the coming weeks. Plans for the Class of 2020 are also underway.

To read the full announcement from JMU, click here. Updates will also be posted on JMU’s Commencement webpage.

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