University of Missouri will hold in-person graduation ceremonies this spring

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Students who graduate from the University of Missouri this spring will have in-person ceremonies, the university announced Thursday.

There will be precautionary measures in place.

“We are excited to celebrate our recent alumni and new graduates after a year that has tested all of us,” said Mun Choi, University of Missouri system president and MU chancellor, in a news release. “I look forward to recognizing these special individuals, while taking a variety of safety measures, and I am delighted they will have the opportunity to be recognized for their extraordinary efforts.”

The commencement ceremonies for 2020 and May and August 2021 will take place over three weekends in April and May. Students who graduated in 2020 will be honored April 23-25. May and August 2021 graduates will participate in ceremonies the weekends of May 7-9 and May 14-16.

The university awarded nearly 9,000 degrees in 2020, but suspended in-person ceremonies because of the pandemic and held virtual ceremonies instead. The April ceremonies will be the first in-person graduation since December 2019.

Details are still being finalized, but the ceremonies are expected to be held in Mizzou Arena and the Hearnes Center. Students can receive tickets to invite up to six visitors who will be grouped together and distanced from other visitor groups. Face coverings will be required. The ceremonies also will be live-streamed to accommodate others who want to view them.

A team of faculty, staff and university leaders have met over several months to prepare for an in-person commencement.

The past year and the cancellation of in-person ceremonies last spring have been difficulty for students and families, Registrar Brenda Selman said.

“We know how important commencement is to our students — it is a culmination of the academic experience and the ceremonial awarding of degrees,” Selman said. “This year's ceremonies will not look like previous ones, but we are looking forward to resuming this beloved university tradition.”

More details will be released as they become available at commencement.missouri.edu.

Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla also has announced its graduation ceremony would be in-person.