Editor’s note: The following message was distributed today from President Geoffrey S. Mearns to the Ball State University campus community about in-person Commencement plans for both Spring 2021 and Class of 2020 graduates:
I write to share our plans for in-person Commencement Exercises in May, marking the return of a cherished University tradition.
In accordance with state and local guidelines, we will hold a series of smaller, outdoor ceremonies at Scheumann Stadium for all members of the Class of 2020 and for our Spring 2021 graduates. These ceremonies have been organized by college to allow us to abide by necessary physical distancing.
The order of ceremonies will be as follows:
Spring 2021 Graduates—Friday, May 7
- Graduate School, 7 p.m. (Doctoral, Specialist, and Master’s candidates)
Spring 2021 Graduates—Saturday, May 8 (Bachelor’s and Associate candidates)
- R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning; College of Communication, Information, and Media; Teachers College, 8 a.m.
- Miller College of Business, Noon
- College of Fine Arts and College of Health, 4 p.m.
- College of Sciences and Humanities, 8 p.m.
Class of 2020 Graduates—Saturday, May 15
- Dedicated ceremonies for all May, July, and December 2020 graduates; the time and number of ceremonies will be determined at a later date based on the number of registrations we receive.
All ceremonies will be held outdoors at Scheumann Stadium, rain or shine.
Graduates who wish to participate in Commencement must register on the Ball State Commencement website on or before March 29. Each graduate who registers will receive four complimentary guest tickets. All graduates and attendees of our Spring Commencement exercises will be required to wear masks.
For future updates and additional details, including information about how graduates can order their caps and gowns, please visit our Commencement website.
I know how important Commencement is to everyone. Our graduating students deserve this recognition. Their families and their friends should be able to attend this important celebration, too. In the weeks to come, we will continue to coordinate our plans for these ceremonies in consultation with our local health department.
My decision to resume in-person Commencement exercises aligns with my announcement this week that our University is planning to resume a nearly normal academic and on-campus schedule in August. Our vigilance has allowed us to make these plans. Our vigilance is also the reason I remain optimistic about our transition back to a robust campus life. If we continue to abide by necessary health and safety protocols, I am confident that we will be able celebrate the success of our graduates in May. And then, come August, we can continue with the residential experience that our students value and deserve.
I look forward to that bright future as much as you do.
Geoffrey S. Mearns
Ball State University