November 29, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 34°F


Ithaca College announces in-person 2021 commencement

Ithaca College will hold the Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2021 in person, but guests will not be permitted. 

In a March 25 email to the Class of 2021, President Shirley M. Collado; La Jerne Cornish, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; and Commencement Committee Co-Chairs Doreen Hettich-Atkins, executive director for the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life; Dave Prunty, executive director for Auxiliary Services; MaryAnn Taylor, executive assistant to the provost; and Registrar Vikki Levine announced that the Class of 2021 Commencement ceremony will occur May 23 for undergraduates and at 4 p.m. May 21 for graduate students. Both ceremonies will take place in the Glazer Arena at the Athletics and Events Center. New York state currently allows for 100 people to gather in indoor public spaces, but these regulations may change as May approaches.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the college held five virtual ceremonies for the Class of 2020 Commencement after the in-person ceremony was canceled. The college also held a virtual ceremony for December graduates.

All students participating in the in-person celebrations must test negative for COVID-19 to attend. 

Undergraduate students will be able to walk across the stage at the arena in full graduation regalia. Each student will have their name called and will receive their diploma cover and class medallion, the email stated. 

Instead of dividing the ceremonies up by school, students can sign up with groups of friends or classmates to graduate together. More information about this will be released closer to May. 

Graduate students will receive their hoods and diploma covers during their ceremony, the email stated. More information will be released when it is closer to May. 

There will be opportunities for graduating students to participate virtually in both ceremonies. Students who have been studying remotely outside of Tompkins County will be allowed to attend the ceremonies in person. They must test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of returning to Ithaca. There will be on-campus housing available for returning students. These students will need to be tested regularly.    

The college is requesting that families and friends of graduating students stay away from the college’s campus. Instead, there will be a webcast of all ceremonies.   

“Students, we are so very excited to celebrate you in May,” the email stated. “The opportunity to mark this major milestone with an in-person event on our campus is a bright beacon of hope and light to guide us through the remainder of this spring semester and close out what has been a truly remarkable year.” 

Alexis Manore can be reached at or via Twitter: @AlexisManore