In-person Commencement ceremonies approved The University received approval from State of Nevada & Washoe County to hold in-person Commencement ceremony in May

A student wearing a mortar board with the words "My future is in sight" stands among a crowd of graduating students.

In-person Commencement ceremonies approved

The University received approval from State of Nevada & Washoe County to hold in-person Commencement ceremony in May

March 29, 2021

The University has received approval from the State of Nevada and Washoe County to hold an in-person Commencement ceremony in May.

In this time of pandemic uncertainty and the many sacrifices you’ve made, I hope that this welcome news provides you with the chance to smile, to anticipate the excitement of Commencement, and to feel optimistic about the possibilities of our future. After a year unlike any other, we are thrilled that our graduates in both our 2020 and 2021 classes will now have an opportunity to experience an in-person Commencement.

Graduates will be allowed up to four guests to attend the ceremony. All ceremonies will be live streamed. More information regarding ticketing procedures will be available shortly.

The 2021 Virtual Commencement Ceremony will still be available on Friday, May 14. This will serve as the inclement weather alternative. If ceremonies must be cancelled due to extreme weather or emergency conditions, they will not be rescheduled. The only approved option for large gathering as a result of current COVID-19 public health guidelines is Mackay Stadium. Lawlor Events Center, given the socially distanced space limitations we are facing, is not an option. The ceremonies will be held as scheduled even in challenging weather such as rain or snow.

Mackay Stadium was approved as the venue because it will allow ticketing for graduates and their guests and is an open-air site. We were not able to use the Quad because it does not meet the standards required for large gatherings which would provide a controlled and safe environment. More Commencement details will be forthcoming. We will communicate additional details as soon as they are confirmed via our Commencement web page. In the meantime, please know that we are doing everything possible to produce an experience that balances both the challenges brought on by the pandemic, as well as the achievements of our incredible graduates, which deserve to be celebrated to the fullest extent possible.

A number of people in Student Services and across our campus have worked diligently over the past several weeks to develop our plan. It contains a number of health and safety precautions based on the latest guidelines from the County and State. It will require cooperation, patience and understanding. It will be a different kind of ceremony, more socially distanced and more controlled. But it gives us the one thing we have needed for a long time: An opportunity to gather safely as an in-person community to celebrate our newest graduates.

We know the past year has presented incredible challenges for all of you. You’ve persevered, shown resiliency and succeeded against great odds. Soon it will be time to celebrate. I wish you all continued success as we move through the remainder of the spring semester and we arrive together at an in-person Commencement in May.

Sincere regards,

Brian Sandoval