Washburn 2020-2021 graduates can expect changes to ceremonies


Emma Wittmer

A proper sendoff: 2020 and 2021 Washburn graduates are looking forward to safe in-person graduation ceremonies at Yager Stadium.

Students, faculty and staff are well accustomed to change this year and the 2021 graduate ceremony will be another.

Washburn University announced in March that graduation ceremonies will be held in Yager Stadium this spring on May 1 for 2020 graduates and May 8 for 2021 graduates. The outdoor location will provide a safer environment sufficient for social distancing.

“Commencement marks an important milestone and achievement and we need to be able to properly recognize both this year’s class and those earlier graduates,” said Dr. Jerry Farley, president of Washburn. “Everyone looks forward all year to graduation and we are thrilled to be able to hold a more conventional commencement ceremony for this year’s graduates and to fulfill our promise to the 2020 graduates.”

“This year’s ceremonies will have similar activities, but will of course look different,” said JuliAnn Mazachek, vice president for academic affairs. “You’ll feel a lot of similarity from previous graduations, just outside.”

Graduates and other participants were originally planned to be seated on the field. Yet to conserve the quality of the field, it would cost over $100,000 to cover it with a masonite material so that we would not damage it and could remove it afterward.

“It was too much money for a one-time cost,” Mazachek said. “Students will be in the stands on the East-side and faculty will also be in the stands with the concert band in attendance as well.”

Each graduate is allowed to invite up to six guests to join them and the entire ceremony will be live-streamed for any guests who aren’t able to attend. If there is additional space, graduates who need additional tickets for guests will have a chance to request them.

“We have been doing a great job on campus as well as in the country and we need to keep up the good work so that we can hold these important celebrations,” Mazachek said. “We should have a fun and celebratory event at the end of this semester!”

The Washburn University School of Law will hold ceremonies for their graduates on May 15 for 2020 and 2021 graduates in Lee Arena. Washburn Tech is making separate arrangements.

Edited by: Crystal Hendrix, Katrina Johnson, Matthew L. Self