March 18, 2021
Graduating seniors at Mars Hill University will be able to walk the stage for their commencement ceremony, but with some modifications for social distancing and safety related to the coronavirus. The university announced plans to hold an in-person graduation on Saturday, May 15. In addition to students who complete their degree requirements in the spring semester, the spring commencement also will include Mars Hill’s December 2020 graduates.
The format of the spring 2021 ceremony will be similar to what the university offered last October for 2020 graduates who saw their in-person May graduation fall victim to COVID-19. Although some mandated restrictions on event attendance have been loosened, President Tony Floyd says an indoor ceremony or mass outdoor ceremony will not be possible. He also says the university wants to ensure the event is “as safe as possible for [the graduates’] families, especially those…more vulnerable to the virus.”
Graduates will process across the Lunsford Commons quadrangle area of the upper campus, accompanied by their chosen guests. The graduates will cross the stage while their guests watch from the sidewalk in front of it. Individual graduates and their guests will wait in a socially-distanced line for their opportunity to approach the stage. President Floyd will present diplomas and other university leaders also will be on the stage to congratulate each graduate.
The university will livestream the graduation ceremony, so guests who are not able to celebrate in person also will be able to celebrate the conferring of degrees.