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USF To Hold In-Person Commencement For Spring Graduates

Bull statues on USF campus
Carl Lisciandrello/WUSF Public Media
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Graduation ceremonies are scheduled for May 7-9 at Tropicana Field and will be held under COVID-19 guidelines.

The University of South Florida will hold in-person commencement ceremonies for spring graduates.

In a letter to students and faculty on Monday, USF President Steven Currall announced the university plans to hold graduation from May 7-9 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

"In-person commencement is an honored and joyous occasion, and we have worked closely with our experts from USF Health to provide a safe environment for our spring ceremonies," Currall said.

According to the letter, students must pre-register on the university website by April 5. Depending on the response, the university will then determine the number of ceremonies, in order to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.

Among those guidelines:

  • Students will be allowed to invite two guests, who must pre-register in advance.
  • Face coverings will be required, including those who have received a coronavirus vaccine.
  • Students will not cross the stage or have their names announced during the ceremony. Doctoral students will not be hooded during the ceremony and will instead wear their hoods throughout the entirety of the event.
  • No bags will be permitted, except for those permitted for medical purposes and childcare.

The university will provide a livestream of the ceremony for those who are unable to attend.

According to a release, Tropicana Field will accommodate the approximately 7,000 students and their two guests, while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

The university also plans to honor 2020 graduates who could not participate in in-person commencement. Those graduates and their families will be invited back for a more traditional commencement at a future date, when COVID-19 restrictions can be reduced, according to the release.

The announcement comes two weeks after Currall said the university plans to fully re-open its three campuses this fall.

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