Commencement web banner Zippy 2021

The information on this page is for all Spring 2021 graduates and Summer 2021 graduates who will participate in the commencement ceremonies being held on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9, 2021. If you are a 2020 graduate, please find your information here.

Spring 2021 & Summer 2021 Graduates

(Updated March 31, 2021)

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation!  

To ensure that your commencement ceremony is memorable, plan to arrive no later than ninety minutes prior to the beginning of your ceremony and to remain throughout the entire ceremony. Please avoid carrying personal belongings during your ceremony processional.

All ceremonies will be held in InfoCision Stadium. 

Please review the important information for graduates provided below. A printable PDF, with some of this information condensed, is also available for graduates and guests.

Buchtel College of Arts & Sciences (undergraduate students)

            Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. – Graduates must arrive no later than 8:30 a.m.

 

Buchtel College of Arts & Sciences (graduate students)

College of Business Administration

            Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. – Graduates must arrive no later than 1:30 p.m.

 

College of Health & Human Sciences

            Sunday, May 9, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. – Graduates must arrive no later than 8:30 a.m.

 

College of Engineering & Polymer Science

            Sunday, May 9, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. – Graduates must arrive no later than 1:30 p.m.

 

The commencement ceremony in which you participate depends upon the academic college from which you expect to earn your degree. If you are earning multiple degrees, you are required to march with the highest degree and may march only once.

Once logistics are finalized, all 2021 candidates for graduation will receive communication from the Office of the University Registrar (registrar@uakron.edu) to their UA email address that will include details on how to RSVP for their ceremony.

During the RSVP process, graduates will have the opportunity to upload a headshot and a brief thank-you message, which will be displayed along with their degree(s) and Latin honors earned while they walk across the stage. Graduates will also be asked to provide a name pronunciation as part of the RSVP process, in order to ensure that each graduate's name is called correctly.

After the RSVP process is completed, each graduate will be emailed a GradPass that is unique to them. In addition to indicating their degree information (including college, major, and Latin honors), the GradPass will also contain a Zone # for check-in and a QR code for use during the ceremony.

Graduates must bring their GradPass with them to their ceremony, in either paper or electronic form (preferably both, to be safe). The GradPass will guide both the graduate check-in process prior to the ceremony and each graduate's participation during the ceremony. 

During the degree conferral portion of the ceremony, immediately prior to receiving a diploma cover and crossing the stage, each graduate will scan the QR code on their GradPass, which will trigger both the display of their information (name, headshot, degree, Latin honors, and thank-you message) and the announcement of their name.

Caps and Gowns: In order to participate in the ceremony, graduates must wear the appropriate cap and gown for the highest degree for which they applied. Caps and gowns are available for purchase online as well as at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in the Student Union and in the Polsky Building. 

Hoods: Hoods for doctoral degree candidates will be presented on stage. Hoods for master’s degree candidates are to be worn throughout the ceremony.  Baccalaureate and associate degree candidates do not wear hoods. 

Tassels: All spring and summer 2021 graduates will be provided with a tassel upon graduate check-in on the day of the ceremony. If a tassel has already been purchased, graduates may return their purchased tassel to the bookstore for a refund. Doctoral and master’s degree candidates wear the tassel on the left throughout the ceremony. Baccalaureate and associate degree candidates wear the tassel on the right. 

All undergraduate spring and summer 2021 graduates who have qualified to graduate with honors will receive the appropriate honor cords or medallion upon graduate check-in on the day of the ceremony.

If graduates are a member of a registered university organization which selects students from the entire university student body for membership and/or of a departmental or college honor society, they may wear appropriate recognition symbols. Graduates may not wear any other insignias of affiliation or recognition during the ceremony.

The field surface in InfoCision Stadium is artificial turf. To ensure safety, all graduates must wear flat shoes. No heeled shoes will be permitted on the field surface.

Graduates will have access to four (4) guest tickets each. The number of tickets is a hard cap, in order to comply with Summit County Public Health guidelines. There are no extra tickets available.

Each guest must have a ticket to enter, including infants and children in laps. Per Health Department guidelines, guests for each graduate will be seated together in pods in order to maintain social distancing, therefore tickets cannot be traded between graduates.

Guests must plan to arrive and be seated no later than one hour prior to the ceremony. For the comfort and safety of all guests, please plan to remain seated until the conclusion of the commencement ceremony.

Once guest tickets are available, all spring and summer 2021 graduates will receive communication via their UA email address that will include details on how to claim their guest tickets. Details will also be posted on this page.

Commencement is a formal celebration of each graduate's accomplishments, and appropriate attire is encouraged as part of the celebration. As guests plan their trip to InfoCision Stadium for these ceremonies, they are encouraged to keep the following in mind:

Venue: Commencement ceremonies will be held at InfoCision Stadium, 375 E. Exchange St., Akron, 44304, located at the intersection of E. Exchange St. and S. Union St. on the south side of campus. Additional pertinent venue information will be posted here as the event date nears.

Parking: Guest parking is available throughout campus at several surface lots and parking decks. Handicap parking (placard required) will be available in Lot 10, just north of the venue. There will be designated areas for guest drop-off close to the venue, for those who cannot walk long distances. Additional details, along with a map, will be posted here once finalized.

Gate Entry: Each guest ticket will indicate the appropriate gate for entering the venue. Access to the field by guests is prohibited during these ceremonies, so, it is essential that guests enter the venue at the gate indicated on their ticket. Gates will open approximately one (1) hour prior to the start of each ceremony.

Personal Health Screening: anyone entering the stadium is advised to conduct a personal health screening prior to arriving to the ceremony. Those that are ill and/or have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, have been exposed to one that has tested positive for COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19, are asked to please stay home and view the live stream of the event.

University COVID-19 Guidelines: The University requires that masks be worn by all while on campus. Social distancing procedures will be enforced by stadium personnel and all guests are encouraged to practice good hygiene. Hand sanitizers will be located throughout the stadium concourse.

Cleaning & Sanitizing: The stadium will have hand sanitizer locations throughout the stadium. The stadium will also be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after each ceremony.

Behavior & Etiquette: The University requests guests to exhibit respectful behavior before and during the ceremony. This includes abiding by the social distance guidelines for gathering and seating and wearing a face mask. It is also requested that once the ceremony does conclude, all guests please depart the stadium in short order. Please arrange post-ceremony graduate and family gatherings to another location on campus. Graduates will not be permitted to mingle with their guests while in the stadium.

Security Check: All bags are subject to contactless search by stadium personnel. The University encourages guests not to bring bags in the stadium.

Weather: Commencement ceremonies will be conducted rain or shine. Umbrellas will be permitted in the stadium for use by guests, bearing in mind they do not interfere with other guests’ sightlines. Should hazardous weather approach the stadium, University Emergency Management may decide to delay ceremony starting times. Inclement weather information, including evacuation and shelter instructions, will be communicated via public address, stadium video boards and social media.

PhotographyStudents and guests are encouraged to take photos outdoors, limit group photos to 10 or less, and remain masked until just before the photo is taken.

Seating: Guests are advised that all seating in the venue is on bleachers. The bleachers are not padded, and most do not have seatbacks. Seat cushions will be permitted in the venue.

Footwear: Guests are strongly encouraged to wear comfortable, flat shoes. Some parking locations are up to a ten-minute walk from the stadium. Also, once in the stadium, most guests will need to navigate stairs to reach their seats.

Prohibited Items: weapons, artificial noisemakers, oversized bags, oversized signs, and pets/emotional support animals are not permitted in the venue.

No Smoking: Smoking is prohibited inside the stadium and throughout campus.

First Aid & Safety: Medical assistance will be available before and during the ceremony. Please notify an usher or University police officer for assistance. University police officers will be located inside the stadium, assisting with  vehicle traffic and pedestrian cross walks and patrolling throughout campus.

Programs: Ceremony programs will be available for guests, located near Gates 1, 2, or 3 and throughout the stadium concourse.

Rest Rooms: Rest rooms are available throughout both concourses. There are family restrooms available as well.

Concessions: Cash operated vending machines will be located throughout the concourse. There are no ATMs located inside the stadium. The University Alumni Office will be offering complimentary bottles of water at each ceremony.

For a printable overview of guest information, please review our Ceremony Guest Information document.

Accessible seating will be available for those guests that require it. Information on how to claim accessible seating for guests will be provided at the time graduates are able to claim their guest tickets.

All graduation ceremonies will be interpreted in American Sign Language for guests in InfoCision Stadium.

ASL interpretation and live captioning of the ceremony will be available to those viewing the ceremony Live Stream.

Guests are asked to arrive no later than one hour prior to the ceremony to ensure that their needs are comfortably accommodated to the extent possible given the constraints of the venue. Ushers are available to provide any needed assistance. Please be advised that wheelchair seating is available but may not be located near the graduate’s guest pod seating.

All commencement ceremonies will be live streamed at www.uakron.edu/live. The schedule of live streams corresponds to the overall schedule of ceremonies.

American Sign Language interpretation and live closed captioning will be provided as part of each live stream.

Additional details will be posted in this space, and on the live stream web page as they are finalized.

Contact the Office of the University Registrar at either registrar@uakron.edu or 330-972-8300.