How Utah colleges are celebrating commencement

Apr 30, 2021, 2:09 PM
FILE -- Students sit and put their masks on during the spring and summer graduation ceremonies at S...
FILE -- Students sit and put their masks on during the spring and summer graduation ceremonies at Stewart Stadium at Weber State University in Ogden on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. Yukai Peng, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — After more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Utah college students have shifted to hybrid-learning systems with both in-person and virtual classes. For the class of 2021, many spent their senior years online — earning their bachelor’s degree from their living room couch. 

With graduation ceremonies largely canceled in 2020 because of rising coronavirus numbers, many Utah colleges are approaching commencement in a different way. Some are hosting in-person ceremonies, whereas others are abstaining from commencement altogether. 

Here’s a breakdown of how each Utah college and university is hosting commencement: 

Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University hosted its commencement ceremonies virtually on Thursday, April 22, broadcasting them live on BYUtv from the Marriott Center. The decision was made to comply with local and state health guidelines. 

“This decision was not made lightly, and we know how disappointing this news may be for you and your loved ones,” said BYU Academic Vice President Shane Reese in a statement. “We look forward, however, to the opportunity to recognize our outstanding students as graduates with perhaps ‘less pomp, but more circumstance.’ Our COVID circumstances have provided opportunities for unique recognitions that are commensurate with our truly remarkable graduates.”

Dixie State University

Dixie State University will host an in-person commencement ceremony Friday, May 7, in the Greater Zion Stadium. The college will host one ceremony honoring all undergraduate, graduate and associates graduates. 

All attendees will be required to wear face masks during the ceremony, although it’s unclear whether the college is limiting how many guests a graduate may bring. 

Southern Utah University

Southern Utah University will hold commencement in person, splitting the graduating class into two ceremonies.

The schools of business, sciences, engineering and computational sciences, humanities and social sciences will be held Friday, April 30. The schools of education and human development, health sciences, and performing arts will be held Saturday, May 1. 

Both ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. Graduates may invite guests to sit in campus overflow seating, with both ceremonies being livestreamed online. 

University of Utah

The University of Utah will host in-person, outdoor ceremonies for each school on Wednesday, May 5 through Saturday, May 8. Each graduate is allotted four guest tickets, with the university live streaming the ceremonies for other family members to watch online. 

Attendance will be limited to faculty, graduates and a small audience of family and friends. The college will require attendees to wear face masks and maintain physical distancing. 

Each of the ceremonies will be open to graduates of the class of 2020, who weren’t able to attend an in-person convocation last year. 

Utah State University

Utah State University will host both a virtual commencement as well as in-person ceremonies for the separate academic schools. The virtual ceremony will be broadcast Wednesday, May 5. 

In-person ceremonies will be held on Thursday, May 6 through Friday, May 7. Each graduate is allotted two guest tickets and everyone will be required to wear a mask for the duration of the ceremony. 

Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University will host its graduation ceremonies in person, with an overarching commencement ceremony Friday, May 7, and each school hosting a separate convocation. 

To accommodate COVID-19 guidelines, ceremonies will be held as a drive-thru experience. Each graduate is allotted one car for their ceremony. 

Weber State University

Weber State University will host in-person commencement ceremonies from Thursday, April 29 through Saturday, May 1. All ceremonies will be held outdoors in the Stewart Stadium. 

All attendees must register, although it’s unclear whether graduates are limited in how many guests they may invite. 

Westminster College

Westminster College will host its commencement in person, dividing graduates into three separate ceremonies on Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8. Each graduate is allotted two guest tickets with every attendee required to wear a mask. 

The college will also live stream the ceremonies online

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, U.S. February 1, 2023, in this picture obtained ...
Zachary Cohen, CNN

US military has shot down the Chinese spy balloon off US East Coast, US official says

The US military has shot down the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean off the Eastern Seaboard, a US official said Saturday.
14 hours ago
The Goonies House...
Taylor Romine and Ralph Ellis, CNN

Man wanted for leaving a dead fish at ‘The Goonies’ house saved by Coast Guard in daring rescue

A man wanted by police in an incident at a house featured in "The Goonies" was the subject of a Coast Guard rescue when he was tossed from a stolen boat as it capsized, authorities said.
14 hours ago
SLCPD said the driver is fully cooperating with the investigation and the children received non-lif...
Chandler Holt

SLCPD makes arrest connected to fatal stabbing case

SLCPD announced the arrest of 26-year-old Ivy Chase Grant today. Grant was booked into Salt Lake County Metro Jail on a charge of obstruction of justice. 
14 hours ago
Troy Dunn, founder of the Location Foundation, appears on an episode of Dr. Phil. Photo credit: Des...
Mark Jones

Locator Foundation working to reunite loved ones with one another

The Locator Foundation is working to reunite family members who have become separated from one another and haven't been able to reconnect.
2 days ago
Martin Gold, a visiting scholar with the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, says the Filibuster is critical...
Mark Jones

Filibuster is critical if country is to maintain compromise, expert says

A visiting scholar to the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation told Inside Sources Friday how important the filibuster is to compromise.
2 days ago
Two hands holding a green plant by the soil above empty pots...
Michelle Lee

Transplanting houseplants? Here are some tips!

SALT LAKE CITY – If you’re growing houseplants, there’s something you need to be familiar with, and that is transplanting. Transplanting houseplants is something you have to do every so often, depending on the type of plant. “Some houseplants will go for several years without needing it, and others need to be transplanted at least […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
How Utah colleges are celebrating commencement