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Outdoor commencement set for Sept. 18 to honor spring, summer graduates

August 24, 2020

Graduates from this year's spring and summer semesters will take part in one of three outdoor commencement ceremonies on Friday, Sept. 18. Both sets of University of North Georgia (UNG) graduates had their original ceremonies postponed due to COVID-19. About 375 graduates gave notice to the Office of University Events of their interest and are expected to walk that day.

Set for the Gen. William "Lipp" Livsey Drill Field on UNG's Dahlonega Campus, the ceremony will include social distancing precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the event of inclement weather, a contingency plan has been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, and Sunday, Sept. 20, in the Convocation Center on the Dahlonega Campus.

"We appreciate the patience of our graduates and their families as we have worked to navigate the restrictions on large gatherings through the COVID-19 pandemic," said Anna Brown, executive director of University Events. "We look forward to celebrating in person the incredible accomplishments of our graduates."

Graduates and their guests will be provided a UNG face covering and are strongly encouraged to wear it for moments when social distancing is not possible. Each graduate will be required to wear the mask when crossing the review stand.

Each participating graduate will receive four tickets for guests. To follow health and safety guidelines, no additional tickets will be available. Graduates who reconfirmed their interest in the ceremony will receive a link via their UNG email address on Sept. 14 for tickets, which they must claim by 9 a.m. Sept. 18.

Commencement ceremonies on Sept. 18 will be staggered.

  • 10 a.m.: College of Health Sciences & Professions and College of Education
  • 2 p.m.: Mike Cottrell College of Business, College of Science & Mathematics and Institute for Environmental and Spatial Analysis
  • 6 p.m.: College of Arts & Letters and University College

All graduates who registered by the July 13 deadline must report to the check-in area at the entrance to the Drill Field one hour prior to their scheduled commencement ceremony time.

Graduates will be escorted to their seats on the Drill Field and given their reader card. Reader cards, which will be used to announce each graduate's name as she or he walks across the stage, must be completed and kept throughout the ceremony.

Graduates should not bring personal items, bags or purses with them, as they will not be allowed in the event seating area and there are no locations to store belongings.

Graduates and guests should park in the Newton Oakes Lot (L16), Memorial Hall Lot (L19) or the Student Recreation Center Parking Deck (L14).

In the event of inclement weather, the university plans to move the ceremonies indoors and spread them out over two days on Sept. 19 and Sept. 20. Graduates will be notified prior to Sept. 18 via their UNG email address if it is necessary to transition to the indoor commencement plan.

For UNG to effectively execute the contingency plan, graduates will be asked to register for a predetermined time slot for their respective college to participate. Registration links will be sent to their UNG email address within the next two weeks. Time slots for the contingency plan would include:

Saturday, Sept. 19

  • 9-11 a.m.: College of Health Sciences & Professions
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m..: College of Science & Mathematics, University College, and IESA
  • 2-5 p.m.: Mike Cottrell College of Business
  • 6-8:30 p.m.: College of Education

Sunday, Sept. 20

  • 2-6 p.m.: College of Arts & Letters

If the event is moved indoors, graduates and guests would be required to wear cloth face coverings at all times; the university requires masks in buildings and facilities on all UNG campuses.

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