Freshly graduated UTC students stand before being dismissed from the Friday commencement ceremony. UTC announced nine ceremonies spanning over five days, in order to follow Covid-19 guidelines of social distancing. Friday, April 23, 2021. (Photo by Stephanie Swart)

Photo by Stephanie Swart

By Allen Lin, Staff Writer- 

UTC prepared for a safe spring graduation ceremony for the class of 2021. Covid protocols  like mask wearing and social distancing that applied in the classroom also applied during  graduation.  

According to Joel Wells, the university registrar, spoke about the policies for the graduation ceremonies.

“Campus protocol continues to be that masks must be worn and social distancing must be maintained on-campus. This will be true for commencement ceremonies, as well,” Wells said. “We encourage people to spread out when taking photos following ceremonies to ensure that social distancing is kept between family units.” 

The commencement ceremonies were held at McKenzie Arena with limited capacity to ensure the safety of the graduates, parents, and staff. In addition, the commencement ceremonies can be  viewed entirely online

The University hired a professional photography business, GradImages, who provided services  to the graduating students.  

Ximena Leon, a spring 2021 graduate, expressed her views on how the University handled the  commencement ceremonies.  

“The University is handling graduation very well. I think it was a great idea to have multiple  ceremonies to allow family and friends to join in on celebrating their graduates,” Leon said. “I feel that the  way they are approaching social distancing and mask wearing makes for a safe environment  while still allowing the students to enjoy and celebrate their successes.”  

Another graduating student, Conner Anderson had a similar view. 

“I feel that overall the University has done a good job trying to make every student happy with this year’s graduation. The decision to have it in McKenzie arena was a wise decision and allowed for a sense of normalcy than having it on a Chamberlain Field would not have given,” Anderson said. “I wish I could have enjoyed a regular final year here at UTC, but I am optimistic about the future and about the younger students’ experience here since it sounds like the school will be back to somewhat normal in the fall.”  

For more information on the commencement ceremonies, you can view the info here

The Echo’s photo coverage can be found here.

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