Commencement for Law Class of 2020 and 2021
Dear UMass Law Class of 2020 and 2021,
I am pleased to let you know that, given the new commencement guidelines issued by the state, UMass Dartmouth now plans to hold an on-campus, in-person commencement for the UMass Law Class of 2020 and 2021 on the weekend of June 11, 12 and 13, 2021. Your commencement ceremony will be unique in that it will celebrate the accomplishments of both the UMass Law Class of 2020 and Class of 2021. Each graduate will be able to bring two guests to attend the ceremony in person. We will also livestream the ceremony so that other family and friends can watch.
We set the date in June to allow more time for students, families, faculty and the many staff who will work at these events to be vaccinated, as well as to give us more time to meet the extensive public health protocols for these events that have been mandated by the state. It will take time for us to fully develop plans that meet their requirements. Until then, here are some things that you and your guests should expect:
- The state requires that “the ceremony must be kept as brief as possible,” so our event will be shorter than a traditional commencement. Nevertheless, each graduating senior will have the opportunity to be recognized and walk across the stage.
- To ensure adequate social distancing, we’re setting a maximum of two guests per graduate. The state’s limit of six guests per graduate was designed to accommodate schools with very large arenas and other high-capacity venues.
- The ceremonies will be held rain or shine. In the unlikely event of truly unsafe, highly inclement weather, the university will assess the circumstances and may postpone the ceremony to a later date and time.
- All graduates and guests will be required to register and obtain tickets in advance. By law, people can only be admitted into the site with a ticket.
- All graduates and guests will be required to wear face coverings during the event, with the exception of the graduate when they are crossing the stage.
- The state guidelines prohibit communal gatherings and receptions on campus before and after the ceremony itself.
- For contact tracing reasons, you and your guests will be required by Massachusetts law to inform the university if you test positive for COVID in the days after the event.
To help us finalize our plans, please complete the UMass Dartmouth Commencement Class of 2020 survey or UMass Dartmouth Commencement Class of 2021 survey as soon as possible to let us know you plan to attend the in-person event in June. Once we receive the survey results, we will be able to plan the individual events and provide you with the specific time of your graduation ceremony, along with other important information about the event.
Make sure you keep checking your email for more details about the ceremony and please visit our Commencement page for more information. Of course, if the conditions of the pandemic worsen significantly, we may need to continue to adapt our plans. We look forward to celebrating your graduation with you and your guests in June.
Mark A. Fuller, PhD