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UIS announces plans for innovative approach to 2021 Commencement featuring in-person and virtual components

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The University of Illinois Springfield is announcing an innovative approach to 2021 Commencement featuring an optional in-person “stage experience” for graduates as well as a virtual celebration due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“These celebrations will allow UIS to continue to follow United in Safety protocols, while celebrating graduates’ academic accomplishments,” said UIS Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney. “We all want to return to our large traditional Commencement ceremony, but we must wait until it’s safe to do so.”

All 2021 degree candidates will have the option to participate in a “stage experience” on Thursday, May 13, or Friday, May 14. Degree candidates will be able to book a timeslot between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. During the “stage experience,” students will be able to walk across the Sangamon Auditorium stage to be congratulated by Chancellor Whitney and UIS Provost Dennis Papini, with up to four guests per graduate in the audience. The stage experience will be live-streamed on the UIS website for guests to watch, beyond the four who attend in person.

Additionally, all graduates, their family and friends will be able to view an online commencement celebration at Noon Saturday, May 15, on the UIS website and Facebook page, which will feature remarks from University of Illinois System President Timothy Killeen, Chancellor Whitney and others. The virtual ceremony will also include the conferral of degrees.

For more information, contact Derek Schnapp, UIS director of public relations, at 217-206-6716 or dschn3@uis.edu.

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