Arkansas Tech University has announced plans to host in-person commencement ceremonies at the conclusion of the spring 2021 semester.
Rather than being held inside John E. Tucker Coliseum as would typically be the case, the ceremonies are being planned as outdoor events at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field (the ATU football stadium). Contingency plans are being made in the event of inclement weather and will be announced as they are finalized.
The ATU spring 2021 commencement ceremonies will take place in accordance with Arkansas Department of Health guidelines and ATU pandemic recovery framework protocols. ATU will continue to monitor trends in COVID-19 cases and be prepared to adjust its spring 2021 commencement plans as necessary.
It will mark the first time since December 2019 that ATU has conducted commencement in person. Ceremonies in spring 2020, summer 2020 and fall 2020 were migrated to a virtual environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to spring 2021 graduates, all 2020 ATU graduates have been invited to participate in a May 2021 commencement ceremony.
"We are pleased to have reached the stage in our pandemic mitigation and recovery that we can plan on resuming commencement in something closer to its traditional form," said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president. "I hope and believe that it will be meaningful for our graduates, both from 2020 and 2021, to hear the cheers from their family members and friends after all we have been through as a university and a country during the COVID-19 pandemic. We all need something to cheer about, and our graduates deserve to hear that joyful sound."
ATU-Ozark Campus has scheduled its commencement ceremony for spring 2021 graduates on Thursday, May 6, at 7 p.m. Plans call for spring 2021 graduates from the ATU campus in Russellville to be honored at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 8.
The ceremony on Friday, May 7, is being organized in recognition of any 2020 ATU graduate who wishes to return to campus and participate in an in-person commencement. It will begin at 6 p.m.
Individuals seeking more information about ATU’s spring 2021 commencement plans may call the ATU Office of the Registrar at (479) 968-0272.