Westfield State University announces plans for 2021 Commencement

Several ceremonies to honor Classes of 2020 and 2021 to take place May 13–15 at MassMutual Center in Springfield 

WESTFIELD, Mass.—Westfield State University Interim President Roy H. Saigo, Ph.D., has announced plans for this year’s Commencement exercises, during which the undergraduate and graduate classes of 2020 and 2021 will be honored May 13–15, 2021, at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

The University plans to host multiple ceremonies each for the undergraduate classes of 2020 and 2021; and one ceremony for the graduate classes of 2020 and 2021. These events will take place Thursday, May 13; Friday, May 14; and Saturday, May 15, and in adherence to COVID-19 guidelines and protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and MassMutual Center. The finalized sequence of ceremonies will be posted to the commencement website April 16, 2021.

Members of the undergraduate and graduate classes of 2020 and 2021 need to RSVP by April 13 through the University’s commencement website in order to be permitted to attend.

The ceremonies will focus on the conferring of the degrees and the graduates being able to “walk across the stage.” The University is anticipating the need to abbreviate other ceremonial formalities, due to restrictions and protocols necessary to maintain the health and safety of all participants and guests.

 “Westfield State remains committed to hosting high-quality, commemorative, and memorable events, while following COVID-inspired restrictions to best maintain the health and safety of everyone in attendance,” said President Saigo.

Each graduate will be allowed two ticketed guests, who will be assigned specific seats that are safely distanced from other family groups in the arena. Out-of-state guests traveling to Massachusetts for the ceremony will be required to comply with the state’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory. All ceremonies will be live-streamed and viewable through a link posted on the University website.

Given the fluid nature of the pandemic, contingency plans are also in development. If the status of the spread of COVID-19 changes drastically, prohibiting the University from holding the Commencement ceremonies in this fashion, Westfield State is prepared to host several events in May in a drive-in format in its South Lot located off of Western Avenue.

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