Boris Tsang/Sun Senior Photographer

Commencement will once again return to Schoellkopf stadium.

April 6, 2021

Cornell Announces In-Person Commencement for Class of 2021

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Cornell will hold an in-person commencement for the Class of 2021, President Pollack announced in a Tuesday email. The University is also planning for a virtual celebration for the Class of 2020 in June and an in-person Homecoming in September. 

Commencement will take place in Schoellkopf Field the weekend of May 29 — but Cornell won’t allow guests, and instead of a customary packed stadium, it will feature a series of smaller, outdoor socially-distanced events to honor graduating seniors, graduate and professional students.

“We will include elements of both our traditional stadium ceremony and new elements designed to highlight the very special nature of this year’s event,” Pollack wrote in the email.

Pollack emphasized that commencement celebrations could change or become virtual as Cornell awaits state approval and plans hinge on public health conditions.

But as the University plows ahead with planning, families and friends are already set to watch the Class of 2021 graduate virtually, as Cornell will only allow graduates in the stadium. 

Students in the Class of 2021 living outside of Ithaca wishing to return for commencement must follow state travel guidelines, but the University will offer free rooms in residence halls for a short period before their graduation ceremony. The email promised more information on sign-ups in the coming weeks.

Convocation will be fully virtual this year for this fall’s cohort of first-year and new transfer students. And after more than a year of holding out hope for an in-person commencement,  the Class of 2020 will gather virtually on June 13 for part of their virtual reunion. However, the University is planning an in-person Homecoming for graduates and their families and has marked the dates for a five-year reunion for June 2025.

“Even though this year’s ceremonies will look different than they have in years past, we are working hard to ensure that all of this year’s events will become memories to cherish,” Pollack wrote.