Outdoor Commencement Ceremonies Planned May 8-9

A scene from Gonzaga's 2019 Undergrad Commencement. (GU photo)
A scene from Gonzaga's 2019 Undergraduate Commencement. (GU photo)

March 22, 2021
Gonzaga News Service

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University announced today that it is planning to hold five outdoor commencement ceremonies May 8-9 at Mead School District’s Union Stadium — a new, 4,500-seat football stadium.

“With the move to Phase 3 under Washington’s Road to Recovery Plan, we have been given guidance that will allow for in-person degree-granting ceremonies,” President Thayne McCulloh announced in a message to the community, noting the ceremonies are among “the most anticipated events in the lives of our students and their families.”

Each of five planned ceremonies will be live-streamed via the web and will also be recorded so that those unable to attend can participate remotely. Commencement ceremonies for the Law School and graduate degree programs are set for Saturday, May 8 with three undergraduate ceremonies Sunday, May 9. Details for each ceremony will be announced.

“Commencement is a time of celebration and, in pre-pandemic times, an opportunity for family and friends to gather and acknowledge the truly momentous achievement that is represented by the completion of one’s degree,” President McCulloh noted. “Our surveys of this year’s graduates confirmed for us students’ preference for a safe, in-person graduation — but key to the event would be the ability to have even a limited number of family/guests present.”

In addition to events being held at Union Stadium, COVID restrictions require Gonzaga to plan for the following:

  • All participants — graduates, guests, and others — will be expected to adhere to all health and safety protocols, including wearing of protective masks, physical distancing, etc. This is a requirement of the state and approval of the event is contingent upon it.
  • The multiple ceremonies will allow each graduate to invite at least three and possibly four guests, depending on how many graduates elect to participate in the ceremonies.

“It is important to note that these plans are made in conjunction with the Spokane Regional Health District and subject to change,” President McCulloh noted. “We appreciate your patience as we continue to plan in an ever-changing environment and look forward to celebrating graduation.” 

More information will be available at the Commencement website.