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Graduates in cap and gown seated for Commencement.

Commencement 2020 & 2021

We are pleased to announce that on May 22, 2021, we are planning to host outdoor Commencement Ceremonies for both the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 at Kenneth R. Gill Stadium.

Central to our planning is the need to keep our community members safe while doing everything we can to preserve an in-person Commencement ceremony. Knowing that being outdoors dramatically decreases spread of COVID-19, we are excited to begin planning these outdoor ceremonies.

Commencement Ceremony Information

Who: McDaniel College Classes of 2020 & 2021
When: May 22, 2021, 10:00 am (Class of 2020) and 2:00 pm (Class of 2021)
Where: Kenneth R. Gill Stadium*
Details: Continue to visit this webpage for up-to-date information
*Rain Location: Robert Joshua Gill Center.

Health & Safety Planning

Although we cannot be certain what the future holds related to the trajectory of COVID-19, it is important to be aware that at this time we anticipate some additional health and safety protocols:

  • All graduates should plan on only being permitted to have a maximum of two guests attend in-person. While disappointing, this is an important factor in being able to have an in-person ceremony. We will be live-streaming the ceremonies so family and friends can participate from a distance.
  • All participants and attendees will be required to wear masks, regardless of whether or not they have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Though we are excited by the prospect of outdoor ceremonies, we also must acknowledge that weather is a significant unknown. We intend to confirm our outdoor location no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 19. At that time, if the weather appears to be problematic, we will move the ceremony indoors to the Robert Joshua Gill Center. Unfortunately, should this be the case, the ceremony will be for graduates only and guests will not be able to attend in-person.

Maintaining Traditions

In the coming weeks and months, the Commencement Committee will be finalizing additional details, including important traditions like the ringing of the bell, Senior Week, and our honors and awards ceremonies. We intend to preserve as much as possible while being conscious of the fact that some members of the graduating classes simply cannot participate in in-person events, and our hope is to be as inclusive as possible. Thus, members of the Class of 2021 should be preparing for virtual honors and awards ceremonies and virtual components to traditional Senior Week activities.

Commencement Updates

Additional updates will be sent out to Class of 2020 alumni and Class of 2021 graduates as details are finalized. Please continue to visit this webpage for up-to-date information. Read the full announcement from President Roger Casey below.  

Commencement Announcement: Feb. 10, 2021

Dear McDaniel faculty, staff and students:

Of the many things McDaniel College has lost due to COVID-19, perhaps one of the most difficult was last year’s Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony. At the time of cancellation, I assured the Class of 2020 that we were committed to a ceremony in their honor. Additionally, we now have the Class of 2021’s Commencement ceremony to plan. I write today to update you about our plans to celebrate our newest graduates.

Central to our planning is the need to keep our community members safe while doing everything we can to preserve an in-person Commencement ceremony. Knowing that being outdoors dramatically decreases spread of COVID-19, I am pleased to announce that on May 22, 2021, we are planning to host outdoor Commencement Ceremonies for both the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 at Kenneth R. Gill Stadium. The combined (undergraduate and graduate) ceremonies will be held at 10:00 am (Class of 2020) and 2:00 pm (Class of 2021).

Although we cannot be certain what the future holds related to the trajectory of COVID-19, but also knowing that Commencement planning must begin immediately, it is important to be aware that at this time we anticipate some additional health and safety protocols:

  • All graduates should plan on only being permitted to have a maximum of two guests attend in-person. While I know this is incredibly disappointing, it is an important factor in being able to have an in-person ceremony. We will be live-streaming the ceremonies so family and friends can participate from a distance.
  • All participants and attendees will be required to wear masks, regardless of whether or not they have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

Though we are excited by the prospect of outdoor ceremonies, we also must acknowledge that weather is a significant unknown. We intend to confirm our outdoor location no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 19. At that time, if the weather appears to be problematic, we will move the ceremony indoors to the Robert Joshua Gill Center. Unfortunately, should this be the case, the ceremony will be for graduates only and guests will not be able to attend in-person.

In the coming weeks and months, the Commencement Committee will be finalizing additional details, including important traditions like the ringing of the bell, Senior Week and our honors and awards ceremonies. I have asked them to preserve as much as possible while being conscious of the fact that some members of the graduating classes simply cannot participate in in-person events and our hope is to be as inclusive as possible. Additional updates will be sent out to Class of 2020 alumni and Class of 2021 graduates as details are finalized, and our Commencement webpage will be another source of up-to-date information.

I’d like to thank in advance the team of staff who will be working to reimagine Commencement in order to celebrate our graduates. And to our classes of 2020 and 2021—while I know it is likely we will need to make compromises in order to be as safe as possible, we will do everything we can to ensure an in-person ceremony to celebrate your accomplishments.

President Roger Casey