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UMN updates 2023 commencement plan

The University announced new additions to the joint graduation ceremony for students, including opportunities to walk and participate in virtual celebrations.
Image by Graphic by Mary Ellen Ritter

The University of Minnesota announced new additions to commencement for students graduating this spring in an email on Tuesday, following previous criticism from the plan announced in the fall. 

Last October, the University announced that due to renovations at Mariucci Arena, where commencement ceremonies are usually held, most college-specific graduations will be combined into a joint ceremony at Huntington Bank Stadium. Due to the thousands of graduating seniors, students won’t walk on stage to receive their diplomas during this ceremony. 

After receiving criticism from students and families about the ceremony being less personal for graduates as in past years, the University created additional ways to celebrate.

The University worked with students, faculty, alumni and families to find a solution to these concerns, according to University Provost Rachel Croson. Along with the conferral ceremony at Huntington, the University will provide opportunities for students to receive their diplomas on stage, choose who they walk with and participate in graduation virtually. 

On Feb. 16, graduating students will receive an email to register for the joint conferral ceremony and a stage crossing ceremony. During the stage crossings, students will have their names announced, cross the stage and be congratulated.

In the next few weeks, the University will announce stage-crossing time slots. Stage-crossings will take place at the RecWell Field House and Coffman Union during various times from May 11 through May 13. 

“This announcement is really about the conferral ceremonies, but also about those stage crossing opportunities, which were designed so that people could have their family there in a front row seat, not way up in the bleachers,” Croson said. 

The combined conferral ceremonies will take place on May 12 at 5 p.m. for graduate students and on May 13 at 1 p.m. for undergraduate students. 

Individual colleges and schools will contact students with details on their specialized ceremonies. 

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