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Several Local Universities Plan For In-Person Commencement Ceremonies For 2021 Graduates

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Several local universities have unveiled their plans this past week for how they are handling commencement for the Class of 2021.

Penn State University

On March 17, Penn State announced that they are proceeding forward with in-person commencement ceremonies during the weekend of May 7 to May 9 and that virtual streaming options would be available as well.

There will no walking across a stage for graduates. Graduates will be able to bring up to two guests, and the university said that limit will remain in place even if gathering limits are lessened in the time leading up to graduation.


IUP's in-person commencement ceremonies will take place that same weekend, and the university says three different events will be held. IUP is also limiting guests to two per graduate.

Slippery Rock University

On March 19, Slippery Rock announced it is holding in-person ceremonies the weekend of April 30 and May 1 and that additional information about guest tickets and location will be forthcoming.

Point Park University

Point Park's commencement will be held on the PNC Theatre stage of the Pittsburgh Playhouse, and 2020 and 2021 graduates will have the opportunity to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.

No guests are permitted at the ceremony, and videos of the ceremony will be published to the university's website on May 15. No date has been announced for the ceremony at this time.


WVU's ceremonies will also honor both the Class of 2020 and 2021 on the weekend of May 15 and May 16. There will be a ticket limit for guests, but an exact number has not been released as of yet by WVU. The ceremonies will be held at Mountaineer Field in Milan Puskar Stadium.

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh announced earlier this month it will have some in-person events for their commencement. The university is opting for a two guests per graduate limit.

The university reported a new spike in cases on its campus on Friday.


All universities said that every attendee would be required to social distance and wear a facial covering for the ceremonies. They noted that these plans may be subject change depending on if guidance from health experts shifts in the coming weeks.

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