This message was shared with the students, faculty and staff of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa on March 4, 2021.
I would like to provide an update regarding our plans for commencement this semester. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer a traditional commencement ceremony due to the health and safety concerns still presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the associated State and County restrictions. However, we are finalizing plans to provide our graduating students with a commencement experience and photo opportunity.
Based on student feedback, we have learned that one of the biggest disappointments in relation to missing out on commencement is that you graduates not able to wear regalia and receive their well-earned diplomas. The opportunity to see the pride and smiles as our graduates cross the stage each commencement is one of my favorite times of the year, and although we cannot safely engage in a traditional ceremony this year, my team is currently working on designing other graduation experiences that I would like to share with you.
As part of the Virtual Spring 2021 Commencement, which will feature messages from the UH president, a guest speaker, and student speaker, we would like to offer the following event to be recorded and added to the program which will be available online shortly after the end of the semester.
The preliminary plans are as follows:
- Graduating students will be grouped by their schools and colleges.
- Each student will be allowed to bring two guests.
- Each college/school will have an allotted time to read student names as they receive a “diploma.”
- Our commencement photographers will capture this moment for those who would like to purchase commemorative graduation photos.
- All spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020 spring 2021, and summer 2021 graduates are welcome to participate.
The colleges and schools will be spread out over the course of several days on and around finals week.
Graduates—We would like your input to help us make an informed decision about the school/college event scheduling. Please take two minutes to complete this brief survey by 4 p.m. Friday, March 12.
This is not a registration form. Details about registration for these events will be shared at a later date. We appreciate your patience as we work with the deans to create a master schedule, which will be shared in the coming weeks. Thank you for your patience as we finalize these plans. My team and I will be in touch soon with additional details.
Mahalo nui loa,
UH Mānoa Provost