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Stadium Experience

HONORING THE CLASS OF 2021

Big House Event on May 1

We invite you to join your fellow graduates for a unique opportunity to experience our virtual Spring Commencement on May 1 from the stands of Michigan Stadium. We know there continues to be strong interest in finding a way to share this special moment in person with classmates. With COVID-19 now under better control on our campus and new state public health guidelines that allow for increased attendance at outdoor stadiums, we wanted to offer this option for our graduating students.

The virtual celebration will include a number of interactive and remote features, including:
  • A social media ticker beneath the ceremony video will share celebratory messages from fellow graduates, family members, and others and give graduates the chance to respond to questions posed by the ceremony's student speakers.
  • The ability for grads at home to turn on their cameras and join the ceremony live when their dean presents their graduates to the president during the conferring of degrees.
  • Congratulatory messages from faculty, university leaders, and others.

Please note, the Rackham Graduate Exercises and other graduation ceremonies held by organizations, student groups and our Ann Arbor schools and colleges will be conducted virtually, as planned.

FAQs

Who is invited to attend?

Students who graduated in the Fall 2020 term or are eligible to graduate in Winter 2021 or Spring/Summer 2021 terms. Unfortunately, no guests will be permitted to attend due to ongoing health and safety concerns and current capacity limitations for Michigan Stadium.

How will I access Michigan Stadium?

State-mandated public health guidelines require this to be a ticketed event and utilize staggered admission times to limit crowding around the entrance. Students will be required to show their ResponsiBLUE screens showing compliance with testing requirements upon entry.

Students and others are expected to abide by all state and campus public health guidelines before and after the event.

How do I get a ticket to this event?

Graduating students will receive a message from the Spring Commencement planning team with details and the link to register for tickets in mid-April.

Where will I be seated? Can I sit with friends?

Additional details about seating will be outlined in the upcoming message to be sent in mid-April. We anticipate allowing small groups to be assigned seats together upon request.

What are the COVID-19 testing requirements for attending?

All students accessing a U-M building or facility, including Michigan Stadium, are required to participate in the weekly mandatory COVID-19 testing as outlined in the U-M COVID-19 Community Sampling and Tracking Program.

Students will be screened upon entering to ensure they have completed the ResponsiBLUE questionnaire and had a COVID-19 test prior to accessing the stadium.

What additional COVID-19 safety measures will be taken?

Many of the measures are the same ones you've been accustomed to on campus this term. All students must show they have recently been tested for COVID-19, seating will be socially distanced and there is no roaming in the stadium, as required by state public health guidelines. Students must wear a face covering that covers the mouth and nose while in Michigan Stadium in accordance with the U-M face covering policy.

No food or drink concessions will be sold during the event, but water will be available.

What happens if public health guidelines change due to increased COVID-19 risk?

The continued health and safety of our community is our top priority. If the spread of COVID-19 locally or regionally reaches an unsafe level or state guidelines on stadium capacity limits change substantially, we will update you on any need to modify plans.

Why isn't the university changing its plans and hosting a regular Commencement?

Our plans for a virtual commencement were set and announced in February to allow students, families and the university to plan accordingly. We are pleased that conditions have changed and we are able to offer this opportunity for our graduates. While some will choose to come together at Michigan Stadium, others have planned and will choose to watch at home or elsewhere with families and friends.

Some students did not return to campus this semester at the university's urging, and we do not want to encourage additional travel by students or families to the Ann Arbor area from across the state and country during the pandemic.

Should I wear academic attire?

Yes! You'll want to snap pictures of yourself and your friends, so be sure to wear academic attire during the event. Attire can be purchased at The Michiganensian, Barnes & Noble, Ulrich's, and the M Den. Central Student Government has been working with Barnes & Noble to provide free- and low-cost options for commencement regalia.

PhD candidates may order custom attire at umich.shopoakhalli.com.

For stoles, cords, and other adornments specific to your school, college, unit, or student group, please contact the school, college, unit, or student group directly.

I am immunocompromised/have accessibility needs and need to make special arrangements. What is the process?

Additional information regarding accessibility or health concerns will be available to students as part of the registration process. The full commencement ceremony, including all of the speakers, will be presented remotely.