Bucknell University's 171st Commencement will be conducted in person on Sunday, May 23, through three ceremonies spaced throughout the day at Christy Mathewson–Memorial Stadium, which offers more space for physical distancing than the University's traditional Malesardi Quadrangle graduation site. President John Bravman made the announcement today in an email to students, parents and University employees.
"I am pleased to announce that Bucknell will host an in-person Commencement, with several accommodations to help promote health and safety as the pandemic continues," Bravman wrote in the email. "This decision was reached after careful review of state and CDC guidelines and consideration of several event format options."
The ceremonies will be conducted in accordance with the University's current health protocols as well as state and local travel and gathering policies. Each student may invite two guests, who will be seated together and required to abide by University safety protocols, including wearing masks at all times. Based on the number of RSVPs received by the April 15 registration deadline, as well as CDC and state guidelines at that time, students may be able to request additional tickets. Availability information will be shared in late April. As in past years, Commencement will be livestreamed.
"The University is fully committed to providing you with a memorable celebration of your achievement," Bravman wrote. "By drawing upon the same resilience, resourcefulness and flexibility that have gotten us through the past year, I am confident that together we will accomplish this goal."
Career-long public policy shaper and Bucknell graduate Audra Wilson '94, president and chief executive officer of the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, will be Bucknell's 2021 Commencement speaker. Her address will be included in all three ceremonies.
Full details about the ceremonies and related Commencement events will be available in the coming weeks on Bucknell's Commencement website.
Bravman concluded his email by reminding students that the University's ability to host Commencement in person is contingent on several factors, including local and state guidelines and the continued mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 within the Bucknell community. He urged students to "stay vigilant about preventing the transmission of the virus during your final weeks on campus so that we can safely gather with your families to honor this very special milestone."