Graduates from 2020, 2021 in this year’s ceremony at Otterbein

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — This weekend, hundreds of graduates from the year 2020 and 2021, will get the chance to graduate in-person, at Otterbein University.

“We’re going to do five ceremonies; they’re going to be outside instead of the normal basketball arena. And we’re doing five ceremonies for a couple reasons. One we have the 2020 grads that we want to have come back and be recognized, and two we need to have slightly smaller groups instead of all at once,” said John Comerford, President of Otterbein University. 

President Comerford says each ceremony will hold around 200 to 250 graduates, and will take place outdoors throughout the weekend.

And he says each student will be able to invite at least four family members, which he says will still follow the state’s guidelines of only 30% capacity at outdoor venues.

“We have the graduates seated on the football field, six feet apart from one another. And then the family members are sitting in pods of four, six feet apart from each pod in the stands,” said Comerford.

And while graduates won’t actually be handed a diploma, President Comerford says they will be able to pick one up off a table. 

And he adds that they’ll still get to take a graduate photo, just at a distance.

“I have a spot where I stand, and they have a spot where they stand. Where I’m sort of behind them, and we can still get a picture, even if it’s a little different than the normal picture, at least there’s still a moment to be captured,” said Comerford. 

Ohio University is also holding its commencement ceremonies in person this weekend, while Ohio State University is hosting theirs next weekend.

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