DePaul Class of 2021 invited to participate at in-person graduation celebration events



FILE- In this May 5, 2018, file photo, students attend the University of Toledo commencement ceremony in Toledo, Ohio. Colleges across the U.S. have begun cancelling and curtailing spring graduation events amid fears that the new coronavirus will not have subsided before the stretch of April and May when schools typically invite thousands of visitors to campus to honor graduating seniors.

On April 12, DePaul’s Office for Academic Events sent out an email to the graduating class of 2021 announcing a “Graduation Celebration” will take place on campus. The event will allow graduating seniors, family members and friends to register and visit the Lincoln Park campus for various outdoor, commencement-themed activities. 

The events will span May 19 until May 28. They will be during the College of Law’s virtual commencement on May 22 and prior to the rest of DePaul college’s virtual commencements on June 12. 

Unfortunately, it is unlikely in the next few months, the city of Chicago will lift its restrictions on large in-person gatherings to make our traditional ceremonies possible,” a DePaul Newsline article reads. “As a result, DePaul will instead host on-campus activities and online commencement ceremonies in May and June. This will give the Class of 2021 the opportunity to safely celebrate achieving this milestone.”

DePaul announced an activity called the Graduation Experience Canopy where students can sign their name on the Class of 2021 reflection wall, take photos with family and friends and walk across a graduation stage where a professional photographer will be present. 

“Walk across a stage in front of your family. Wear your regalia on the Quad. Capture Insta-worthy photos,” the email read. 

Other events planned will be DePaul-themed photo opportunities, sculptures and interactive experiences. At dusk during the celebration, the Lincoln Park quad will be illuminated for nightly photos and walks. 

In order to participate, students and visitors are encouraged to register for a date and time;  dates and times are on a first come, first serve basis. Students are able to have two guests — and “no additional exceptions can be made regarding the number of guests due to Chicago’s Covid-19 guidelines for in-person gatherings,” the email read. 

Students and guests will be required to wear a face mask and cover both their nose and mouth while on campus as well as complete the #CampusClear questionnaire, and abide by travel orders and social distancing rules.