The commencement ceremonies for over 10,000 graduates at the University of Florida (UF) will be held in-person, after nearly two years of remotely conducted activities, the UF has announced.
According to a press release issued by the university, spring 2021 graduates and 2020 graduates will collect their diplomas in the upcoming two weeks at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Erudera.com reports.
Commenting on the event, the President of UF, Kent Fuchs, congratulated students and said he is thrilled to be able to hold the commencement ceremony in person this year.
“All of these students overcame the challenges and hardships of the pandemic while earning their UF degrees, and I can’t wait to join them and their families in celebrating their historic accomplishment,” President Fuchs said.
He will give out diplomas for 10,000 graduates of the spring 2021 class at 14 ceremonies from Thursday, April 27 to Monday, May 3. Fuchs will also hold a speech for 2020 graduates at 11 ceremonies, set to take place from May 6 to May 9.
The graduates will have their names called and have their pictures taken, as well as hear the brief remarks of their college deans during the ceremony.
All ceremony attendees need to wear face coverings and apply social distance, whereas guest lists are limited in order to preserve a safe anti-COVID environment. Other people that want to attend the ceremonies can do so by watching the livestream from the jumbotron at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, depending on the weather. Family, friends, and loved ones can also attend the ceremony virtually via the digital platform.
The spring class of 2021 graduated students are from 95 world countries and 49 US states. The youngest graduate is an 18-year-old graduating in economics major, whereas the oldest is a 73-year-old, who will collect his bachelor degree in anthropology. Approximately 730 graduates are reported to be first-generation college students.
Previously, five UF graduates had been awarded Fulbright Scholarships, getting ranked 7th on the list of top universities producing excellent scholars and first in the national level. The Fulbright Student Program is a Cultural Exchange Program that supports US citizens for studies or research programs related to their home country or elsewhere.
At the beginning of 2021, UF announced that the university has started returning students to campus gradually, aiming to a full return by respecting anti-COVID guidelines such as wearing masks and practicing physical distance.
Last year, the university received a nearly $912,000 fund for research of two smell-based COVID-19 tests. The University of Arizona, alongside Pennsylvania State University, have partaken in the research.