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Willamette only to allow graduating students to attend commencement

Emma Innes

Staff writer

The Willamette University Commencement Committee (WUCC) announced in a Mar. 26 email to the class of 2021 the details of the 2021 commencement ceremony. The May ceremony will be on campus at McCullough stadium, with only graduating students in attendance. Traditional elements of commencement will be upheld as much as possible and graduates who cannot attend in person will be incorporated as much as possible. In an email, Colleen Kawahara, chief of staff of the president’s office, said the committee first needs to determine the number of attending remote students before deciding how they will be incorporated into the ceremony.

The WUCC recognized the disappointment of not having a commencement ceremony with friends and family attending in person and said they are planning to have a high quality live stream of the ceremony. WUCC said students will be allowed personal off-campus celebrations, but encouraged them to follow COVID-19 guidelines. According to Kawahara, the commencement committee has not yet received the results of a survey sent out to the class of 2021 about what they want for commencement.

The ROC said Marion County, since it is in the “high risk” category as defined by [the OHA], allows for 25 percent occupancy for outdoor events. This leaves the 2,000 seat McCullogh stadium with 500 seats. The WUCC will provide updates if restrictions and plans change.

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