UC Berkeley confirms plans for virtual spring 2021 commencement

Image of previous commencement
Karen Chow/File
UC Berkeley’s spring 2021 commencement will be taking place virtually May 15, and graduates will be able to schedule walk-throughs in the Hearst Greek Theatre over the course of five days from May 16 to May 20. Family members and other guests will not be allowed in the theater or on campus.

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UC Berkeley confirmed its plans for a virtual campus spring 2021 commencement ceremony May 15 and virtual department graduations in accordance with public health guidelines.

In addition to the virtual events, campus will hold an in-person procession for graduates only at the Hearst Greek Theatre, according to an email from UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ that was sent to the graduating class Monday. To adhere with public health guidelines, the procession will take place over five days from May 16 to May 20, and a limited number of students will be allowed to cross the stage each hour, Christ added in the email.

Christ noted that the procession will be livestreamed, but family members and other guests will not be allowed in the theater or on campus. Students will be able to schedule their walk-throughs at their convenience, according to Christ.

The campuswide commencement will include the conferring of degrees and speeches, and students can check with their departments for more information on their graduations, Christ said in the email.

Students will receive an email in early April with an invitation to register for each event, Christ added in the email. She emphasized that campus is closed to the public and discouraged students from bringing guests or gathering on and off campus.

“It takes months to plan a ceremony of this magnitude for some 60,000 visitors from around the world,” Christ said in the email. “We cannot predict what the guidelines will recommend for that time, yet we are committed to celebrating your achievement in as safe, equitable, and shareable a way as possible.”

Aditya Katewa is a deputy news editor. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.