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UMN College of Liberal Arts commencement will be online again

Given state restrictions on gatherings, Dean John Coleman said it is “not feasible” to host the commencement in person.
Image by Graphic by Mary Ellen Ritter

In light of the uncertain public health conditions during the pandemic, the 2021 College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony will be held virtually, CLA Dean John Coleman announced in an email Thursday.

Coleman said given the 6 feet of social distancing and cap on gatherings at event facilities required by the state, it would be difficult to conduct an in-person ceremony.

“With these parameters, it is not feasible for CLA to host our Commencement in person,” Coleman stated in the email. “We also know that even with an easing of travel restrictions by May, a great many of our graduating students and their families still would be unable to return to campus for Commencement.”

Last year, the University of Minnesota declared that all commencement ceremonies would be held virtually as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this year, the University’s provost has advised individual colleges to decide how to hold their respective ceremonies.

CLA is both the largest college at the University and the largest in the state of Minnesota. The college usually holds three ceremonies, two for undergraduate students and one for graduate students. The college estimates that nearly 23,000 people gather for these ceremonies each year.

This year’s virtual ceremony will include both undergraduate and graduate students. Following the live broadcast of the ceremony, a recording will be posted for those who could not attend.

Expected CLA graduates should keep an eye out for participation instructions for the ceremony.

Updates will continue to be posted to the CLA’s Commencement Information page.

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