Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges’ spring commencements had to be postponed, the University of Montevallo included. Living in these unprecedented times, it was unclear if the University’s winter commencement would be rescheduled as well.
However, in an email sent by University Marketing and Communications, it was announced that an outdoor, socially distanced commencement will be able to take place, to be held at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 12.
Though traditionally held indoors, winter commencement will be outdoors on Flowerhill Lawn in order to comply with social distancing guidelines. To limit overcrowding, the event will not be open to non-graduating students and graduates will be limited to inviting up to four guests each. Masks will also be required by all attendees for the duration of the ceremony.
Due to the number of in-person attendees being limited, the event will be livestreamed online in order for additional family and friends of the graduates to watch the ceremony in real time.
To limit contact of large groups, there will not be a commencement rehearsal. Because of this, fall graduates participating are asked to thoroughly read the directions sent to them and to meet on Main Quad by 10:00 a.m. the day of the event in order to get into their processional lines.
In regards to winter commencement, senior Kyle McCune said, “I have a lot of friends who graduated in the spring and it was sad knowing that they wouldn’t be able to celebrate graduating themselves.”
“I’m really glad that this group of students gets to be acknowledged,” McCune said.
“Obviously there’s a concern whenever there’s going to be a large gathering of people,” said McCune when asked about his safety concerns for the event. “But I feel like the school has done as much as it could while also trying to avoid doing what they did last semester. Ultimately, it’s on the students and parents of the students whether they think the risk is too high to attend, but as long as everyone follows the correct protocol I don’t see any issues.”
Brianna Bramlett is a writer for The Alabamian. She is a double major in English and communication studies who loves spending time with friends, reading, and painting.