WLU announces in-person graduation for spring 2021

West Liberty University announced March 9 plans for an in-person commencement ceremony for spring 2021.

In accordance with COVID-19 safety rules of social distancing and mask wearing, the university plans to host five ceremonies in the Academic, Sports and Recreation Complex (ASRC). Ceremonies are being planned as follows: graduate degree ceremony planned for Friday, May 7, three undergraduate degrees planned to take place on Saturday, May 8 and a graduate degree ceremony for physician assistant (PA) students is planned for Friday, June 11.

As promised at the beginning of the pandemic, WLU invites 2020 graduates back to campus to participate in the in-person ceremonies. WLU Vice President of Student Services and Registrar Scott Cook said, “We wanted to be able to recognize our graduates for their achievements. However, safety of our students and campus has always been at the forefront. We believe we can do this by limiting guests and having five ceremonies. All COVID-19 guidelines are still in place and will be followed. Masks will be required for all participants and quests. Everyone, including participants will be socially distant.” Returning graduates will walk with the college they originally graduated with.

WLU Director of Media Relations, Maureen Zambito, stated 2020 graduates interested in coming back will be asked to complete a participation form through the WLU Registrar’s webpage under the graduation dropdown.

Students have shown joy knowing they will be able to have a normal graduation, although some are still worried about safety. Senior broadcast major Heather Hale said, “I’m really happy that I’ll get to have a more normal graduation ceremony, but I’m slightly worried about my safety given the current pandemic. The situation may be improving, but it also might still be too early, and I don’t want to jeopardize my health for the appeal of a graduation ceremony because at the end of the day I still completed my bachelor’s degree.

With concern to ongoing pandemic safety concerns, each graduate will be limited to two guests and no reception will follow the ceremonies. Cook said the ASRC arena will be cleaned after each ceremony and students have the option to not participate if they do not want to.

Graduating students can pick up tickets for their guests in the Enrollment Center in Shaw Hall anytime from Monday, May 3 through Friday, May 7 between 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday, May 8 between 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. A photo ID is required when picking up guest tickets. Cook added to ticket information explaining tickets are not transferable and individuals will not be allowed to attend without a ticket. The ceremonies will continue to be televised and live streamed by TopperStation.

Saturday commencement ceremonies are being divided up by college and into three separate ceremonies to stay in accordance with COVID-19 regulations.

9 a.m. Saturday, May 8 ceremony, the College of Education & Human Performance and the College of Liberal Arts,
Noon Saturday, May 8 ceremony, the College of Sciences,
3 p.m. Saturday, May 8 ceremony, the College of Arts & Communication, the Gary E. West College of Business, and the School of Professional Studies.

Every ceremony will have a student speaker who will be announced sometime in the near future along with additional details pertaining to graduation.

For more information about the in-person commencements, please view Zambito’s press release, “WLU Plans In-Person Commencement Ceremonies for Spring 2021” or contact Cook at [email protected]