University of Louisville graduates at a commencement ceremony
University of Louisville graduates at a commencement ceremony

The University of Louisville will resume in-person commencement exercises with outdoor events at Cardinal Stadium that will celebrate both 2021 and 2020 graduates.

“The thrill of walking across the stage at commencement is back,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “We are working hard to provide a safe, meaningful commencement experience for those graduating this spring, as well as all those 2020 graduates whose commencement ceremonies were cancelled due to COVID-19.”

Three all-university ceremonies will be held May 7 and May 8. Smaller ceremonies for the Brandeis School of Law and a doctoral hooding for The Graduate School are planned for May 6. May 9 will be kept open for a severe weather alternative date. The ceremonies will also be live streamed.

This will mark the first time UofL’s commencement exercises have been held at Cardinal Stadium. Exercises are usually held inside at the KFC YUM! Center in downtown Louisville. 

Details for the ceremonies are still being finalized and will strictly follow all UofL, state, city and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines regarding COVID-19 precautions. Plans for the weekend were approved by the office of Governor Andy Beshear this week.

“The safety and well-being of our graduates, their families, our faculty and staff and the community are of utmost concern and are guiding our decisions,” said Michael Mardis, dean of students, chief student affairs officer and vice provost for student affairs. “We will be emphasizing physical distancing in addition to strict mask-wearing requirements.”

The university expects about 1,800 students to participate in the events. Each participant will be allowed to invite eight guests, who will be seated in group pods of four seats apiece.

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