By Sydney Dawes
Athens NEWS Editor
Following recent changes in state COVID-19 guidelines for events, Ohio University announced plans to host multiple in-person spring commencement events at Peden Stadium to take place over the course of several days.
The events will also be streamed live for graduates who would prefer to participate digitally, according to an OU press release.
The spring commencement ceremonies will take place over the course of five days between April 29 to May 3, the OU press release said. The university will determine specific dates and times based on RSVPs received from graduates. The number of students who plan to participate in-person will inform the number and size of the events.
The university expects to limit the number of guests to two people per graduate, according to the release.
Each regional campus location will hold graduation recognition activities on April 29 or 30. Graduates of OU’s regional campuses are invited to attend events on their home campus and in Athens, the OU release said.
In addition, the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine will be celebrating commencement in-person on May 8, the press release stated.
Previously, the university planned to proceed completely virtually, but noted it could amend plans should the state make “substantial” changes to its gatherings guidelines, The Athens NEWS previously reported.
“Our team has planned carefully with the advice of public health officials, so that we can host safe, meaningful events for our graduates and their families,” President Duane Nellis said in the release.
The university initiated planning for the postponed Spring 2020 commencement activities and will be sharing more information with Spring 2020 graduates before the end of spring semester, the release said.
Commencement for Fall 2020 graduates was held remotely, while spring 2020 graduates, whose semester was upended after they were sent home in March of last year, were asked to respond to a survey with their preferences for a future commencement ceremony, in which the class ultimately voted to postpone the ceremony until it’s deemed safe and legal to hold an in-person event.