*Published on March 17, 2021
To the Northeastern Community,
Following my update earlier this week about our spring commencement plans, our graduate students made their voices heard. The profound passion they feel toward their university is inspiring. Their desire to celebrate commencement together, in person, is abundantly clear.
Throughout the pandemic, Northeastern has remained agile and flexible—allowing us to pivot quickly if needed. Consistent with this approach, I am pleased to share that we have secured Fenway Park on Sunday, May 9 to allow for our graduate students to experience in-person commencement ceremonies similar to what we announced for our undergraduates.
As we outlined for our undergraduate ceremonies on Saturday, we will hold two ceremonies for graduate students on Sunday, allowing us to adhere to state-mandated capacity restrictions. We will also add a ceremony for the College of Professional Studies on Saturday evening, following the two undergraduate ceremonies.
We believe we can comply with public health requirements and still allow each graduate student to invite one guest—just as we are doing with our undergraduate ceremony. We are well aware that additional guests would be preferable, but the numbers simply do not allow multiple guests under current public health mandates. If guidelines change and we can accommodate additional guests, we will inform the community immediately. The safety of our community is something we will not compromise.
Graduate students, please be on the lookout for more specific information from your relevant deans and the Commencement Office.
In keeping with past practice, the School of Law will hold its own in-person ceremony on Friday, May 14, on or near the Boston campus. Law school graduates are also invited to participate in the graduate ceremonies at Fenway if they choose. As in past years, the D’Amore-McKim School of Business will hold its graduate student commencement in early September.
The spirit expressed by our graduate students is yet another reminder that the “power of place” is meaningful to our community—perhaps more than ever as we navigate these unprecedented times. I look forward to seeing you in May.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs