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Spring 2021 commencement to transition closer to traditional event

2021-04-12-Fall Commencement repost
UNG graduates and their four guests will gather on the floor of the Convocation Center to celebrate their graduation in an intimate setting May 8 and 9.

Similar to the commencement ceremonies held in fall 2020, University of North Georgia (UNG) graduates and their families will gather on the floor of the Convocation Center to celebrate their graduation in an intimate setting. But this time, more families will be allowed in the facility.

"In December, we had 13 family groups on the floor at the same time. This May, we will have 90," said Jessica Brown, coordinator of university events.

A total of 450 graduates and guests will participate in each mini-ceremony with no more than eight ceremonies each day on Saturday and Sunday for a total of 16. This marks one deviation from the fall 2020 commencement experience.

The second deviation is graduates and guests will be seated in chairs on the event floor in advance to wait for the ceremony to begin. Last fall, small, socially distanced groups of graduates and guests stood outside and in the hallway before being ushered into the arena for the brief ceremony.

"By having fewer ceremonies with more people than we did in the fall, we are transitioning to what we hope will be a more traditional commencement in December," Brown said. "But we still are limiting the number of people to keep the numbers down, allow for social distancing and assist with crowd management."

UNG implemented the smaller ceremonies to follow social distancing guidelines and prevent the spread of COVID-19. The bonus is each graduate is accompanied by four guests throughout the experience, and guests get a front-row view of their graduate's special moment.

"Each family will enter a VIP area, which is close to the stage, to see their graduate walk across and accept their diploma," Brown said, explaining the group of five will exit the facility immediately afterward. "This whole ceremony from the beginning to the end is an intimate and personal experience."

To participate, graduates must log into UNG Connect before April 17 and select a ceremony and check-in time. Only those who have registered before the April 17 deadline will be eligible to pick a time slot.

Available commencement ceremony times are staggered and based on UNG's academic units.

Saturday, May 8

College of Health Sciences and Professions; College of Science and Mathematics; and Lewis F. Rogers Institute for Environmental and Spatial Analysis

  • 9-10 a.m.
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Noon to 1 p.m.

College of Arts and Letters and University College

  • 2-3 p.m.
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • 5-6 p.m.
  • 7-8 p.m.

Sunday, May 9

College of Education

  • 10:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Noon to 1 p.m.
  • 2-3 p.m.

Mike Cottrell College of Business

  • 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • 5-6 p.m.
  • 7-8 p.m.

Each graduate will receive a single ticket when their registration is confirmed through UNG Connect. The ticket will allow graduates to enter the Convocation Center with only four guests. A child will count as a single guest. Those who cannot attend the event in person can watch the livestream on the commencement website or UNG's official Facebook page.

All graduates and guests will be required to wear masks inside the Convocation Center for health and safety reasons. UNG will provide a face covering for each person.

Graduates and guests may check in at the time listed on their ticket. If they arrive ahead of time, UNG asks them to stay in their vehicles until their allotted time. Graduates will receive a reader card to announce their names as they walk across the stage. It must be completed and kept throughout the ceremony.

Graduates and guests should park in the Convocation Center Lot (L52) or the South Parking Deck (L51).

For more information, visit UNG's 2021 spring commencement information webpage.

All graduates and their family members and friends along with UNG faculty and staff are encouraged to post congratulatory photos and short videos on Instagram with the hashtag #UNG21grad. Posts will feed into a landing page linked to the UNG commencement website.

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Please note that some of the images and videos on our site may have been taken before social distancing, face coverings and restricted gatherings were required.

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