BREAKING: AU Announces In-Person Recognition Ceremonies for Recent Graduates

At a media briefing held on April 8, 2021, Vice President of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence at the Office of Campus Life, Fanta Aw, announced that there will be a series of in-person recognition ceremonies held for American University graduates of 2020 and Spring 2021. 

Matthew D. Bennett, the vice president and chief communications officer, explained that these ceremonies will be held not in lieu of but alongside an online commencement which will feature the commencement speaker and traditional components of the ceremony. According to Aw, this to ensure that all graduates have an opportunity for recognition, around the country and the world. 

Due to inclement weather, the events will be held in the Bender Arena, with a maximum capacity of 500 people per ceremony, in accordance with D.C. health and safety regulations and guests will not be permitted at the event. “It will be important for us to stagger the commencement, so it will be over a period of five days and within each day there will be a schedule,” said Aw. 

Graduates interested in attending an in-person ceremony will be provided with instructions to book a slot and time for the same and each commencement will involve the president, the acting provost along with the dean of the school and Aw, who will all be on stage. “Students will be able to come on stage, have their name read out and have the opportunity to take a photo,” said Aw. 

The schedule for these ceremonies is as follows: 

8 and 9 May, 2021: 2021 graduates 

15 and 16 May, 2021: 2020 main campus graduates 

23 May, 2021: Washington College of Law, 2020 and 2021 graduates 

As per D.C. regulations, in addition to limits on capacity, there is a list of provisions that will be put in place at these ceremonies, including mandatory masks and physical distancing.