Boris Tsang/Sun Senior Photographer

Commencement will take place on Schoellkopf Field, which can now hold 33% guest capacity under New York state graduation ceremony guidelines.

April 30, 2021

University To Allow Limited Guests at May Commencement Ceremony

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In the latest development for the Class of 2021’s graduation, guests are now able to join their graduates to  celebrate Commencement, according to a Friday email from President Martha Pollack.

“Each graduate will receive two non-transferable tickets to enable two guests to attend one of the in-person celebrations,” Pollack wrote in the email, stating that specific logistical details, including ticket distribution and event protocols, will be communicated to graduates within the next few weeks.

A previous University announcement stated that the ceremony would permit no guests, but it specified that Cornell could change its plans based on New York state health recommendations. 

On April 27, the New York State Department of Health updated its guidelines for end-of-year academic celebrations, making the change possible.

The new guidelines — which will allow “large scale,” outdoor venues seating more than 2,500 people to reach 33 percent capacity for graduation ceremonies — will go into effect on May 19. Commencement is scheduled for May 29 and 30. The guidelines also stipulate that proof of a recent negative test or immunization will also be required for guests.

In the email, Pollack noted that this is an increase from the previous 20 percent. The commencement will take place in Schoellkopf Field, which can seat approximately 25,600 people at full capacity and 8,500 at a third capacity. Pollack also clarified that the graduating students would be seated separately and not count towards that total at Schoellkopf.