University announces Spring 2021 Commencement plan

by Shelbi Voss

Questions regarding the state of this year’s Commencement were answered this morning in a Massmail from Chancellor Robert J. Jones. The university community received notice that, in addition to a virtual conferral of degrees, graduating students will have the option to register for an in-person, individual, private stage crossing.

The private stage crossings, though not specific to college or unit, will be held between Monday, May 10 and Monday, May 17. Graduates of both the 2020 and 2021 school years are welcome to register for a 15-minute slot in which they will cross a stage at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and receive a diploma cover. Names will be announced, professional photos will be taken and a livestream of the event will be recorded. Two guests are allowed to accompany each graduate for the ceremony.

Registration information for the in-person ceremony will become available to degree candidates in mid-March. Reservations must be made by April 15. During the ceremony, COVID-19 protocols will be required including face coverings and social distancing.

Virtual commencement will take place on May 15 at noon. Music and addresses from the Chancellor, Provost and Deans will be featured. In addition to the online and in-person celebrations, graduates can share a photo and a story about their Illinois experience for a chance to be featured on the university’s social media accounts. Photo submissions are due at this link by May 2.

All decisions are based on guidelines set by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Jones noted that when it is safe to hold large gatherings, all 2020 and 2021 graduates will be invited to attend an in-person ceremony at Memorial Stadium.

More information can be found at the commencement website and questions can be submitted to