Parents and Families - March 2, 2021

Dear Parents and Families:

I wanted to make you aware of the below e-mail message that was sent to students today regarding the return to in-person Commencement ceremonies this May. I'm happy to share with you this exciting news!



Dear Students,

I am excited to share that Winthrop’s executive officers decided this week to plan for an in-person Commencement for all interested Spring 2021 graduate and undergraduate degree candidates. We have been working toward this for some time now, and I hope this is the news that many of you wanted to hear in terms of our planning. I appreciate the work of the Commencement Committee who researched our options and made recommendations to Winthrop’s leadership on how we could safely undertake Commencement on campus.

To accommodate our anticipated May graduates, we will hold a total of five ceremonies with appropriate physical distancing, limited numbers in attendance, and required mask-wearing. As in previous years, we will utilize floor seating of the Winthrop Coliseum, but with seating much more widely spaced for degree candidates. Dates and times follow.

Thursday, May 6: 7 p.m. – All graduate degree candidates

Friday, May 7:

10 a.m. – College of Arts and Sciences (BS and BSW degree candidates) and

College of Visual and Performing Arts undergraduates

3 p.m. – College of Arts and Sciences – BA degree candidates

Saturday, May 8:

10 a.m. – College of Education undergraduates

3 p.m. – College of Business Administration undergraduates

All degree candidates will need to confirm attendance in advance, both for their assigned seating and for tickets for up to two guests. Records and Registration or Graduate School staff will be in touch with degree candidates in a few weeks with the customary communications about Commencement details. 

Given that it will be extremely important to limit unnecessary close contact, degree candidates and their guests will be seated upon arrival at the venue. There will be no Commencement speaker to allow us to appropriately focus on our degree candidates and to provide the additional time that will be needed to move through the ceremony in a physically distanced way. Ceremonies will include presentation of the usual faculty and student awards. Graduates will receive diploma covers for official photographs with me, but your diplomas will be mailed following the ceremonies to accommodate the work Records and Registration and Graduate School staff would normally do on Friday that will be completed the next week.

I hope you are as thrilled as I am with the prospect of the first, large in-person indoor events to be held on campus in more than a year. As long as we continue to do the right things as far as our campus safety protocols for the remainder of the spring semester, we will be able to once again host these long-awaited ceremonies.  

All degree candidates should watch their email for more details from Records and Registration or the Graduate School about the ceremonies. Thank you for your patience as we have explored options and considered what is possible taking into account the health and safety of our new graduates and the campus community. 

With warm regards,


George W. Hynd

Interim President