CULLOWHEE – After a series of virtual commencement ceremonies due to COVID-19 in 2020, Western Carolina University is holding in-person commencement activities the weekend of May 14-16 at Ramsey Regional Activity Center as follows:
- Friday, May 14, at 6:00 p.m. – The Graduate School
- Saturday, May 15, at 10:00 a.m. – College of Education and Allied Professions and David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts
- Saturday, May 15, at 4:00 p.m. – College of Arts and Sciences
- Sunday, May 16, at 10:00 a.m. – College of Business and College of Engineering and Technology
- Sunday, May 16, at 4:00 p.m. – College of Health and Human Sciences
To comply with the governor’s current executive order regarding mass gatherings:
- Graduates will be required to confirm their participation in spring commencement exercises. Information was sent via WCU e-mail to graduates from email@example.com on March 12. Graduates will be required to RSVP in the Marching Order system no later than March 31;
- Graduates will be allowed two guests and all guests must be ticketed (tickets will be distributed in late April);
- Face coverings will be required of all graduates and guests; and
- Commencement will be livestreamed.
“Commencement ceremonies are a highlight of the year and the ultimate celebration of our academic mission and the incredible journey of our students. I’m beyond thrilled to resume celebration of our graduating students’ accomplishments in-person this spring,” said Kelli R. Brown, WCU chancellor. “We are coordinating our plans for in-person ceremonies while adhering to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and North Carolina.”
Campus officials will continue to monitor capacity limits in the Ramsey Regional Activity Center as new guidelines are issued by the governor and may adjust number of guests allowed accordingly.
WCU is also moving forward with plans to resume as close to normal operations this fall, given the current COVID-19 trends and projections, and as WCU’s vaccine clinic is helping to vaccinate the Western North Carolina region.
The resumption of ‘normal operations’ will include an increase of in-person classes, fall sports, campus events and activities, community engagement, and a return to full occupancy residential living. All buildings and facilities, including dining operations, the library and the recreation center will return to normal hours and increased capacity.
WCU will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases and adhere to the Catamounts Care Community Standards and guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the governor’s executive orders for a successful return to ‘normal operations’.
– Western Carolina University release