Cornell College plans in-person May Commencements

Cornell College is planning in-person Commencements in May for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 on Van Metre Field at Ash Park. While significant adjustments are being made to reduce the chance for COVID-19 transmission, one thing won’t change: Graduates will walk across the stage.

The two outdoor events will be held rain or shine, with COVID-19 protocols including required face masks, proper distancing for all participants and guests, and a two-person guest limit. Three events will be held that weekend:

  • 3 p.m. Friday, May 14: Virtual Baccalaureate service streamed on Facebook

  • 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 15: Commencement for the Class of 2020

  • 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 16: Commencement for the Class of 2021

Both Commencements will be livestreamed on Facebook. For safety reasons there is a limit of two guests per graduate. Ticketing information will be announced soon on the college’s Commencement site, including a system for making unused tickets available to those who want them. Anyone (except children 2 and younger) unable to wear a mask should plan to watch the events online.

COVID-19 testing will be available on campus the week before Commencement for all seniors,  faculty and staff who plan to attend the ceremonies.

As with all plans made during this pandemic, modifications may be needed depending on the severity and spread of the virus this spring.

Cornell’s Van Metre Field at Ash Park, home to Cornell’s football, track & field, and lacrosse programs, reopened in 2018 after major renovations featuring a new field entrance plaza, home grandstand seating, scoreboard, and concessions stand. The former grass field was turfed in 2013.

(This article was updated March 11, 2021.)