By Lizz Panchyk
As we have progressed through another two semesters, received our booster shots and have finally been able to remove our masks and experience a more normal college life, Adelphi University recently announced their in-person graduation on May 23 at noon for the class of 2022, which will be hosted at the Nassau Live Center at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY.
Outdoor set up for the 2020 and 2021 Commencement.
It’s a relief to current seniors, after watching what the past two graduating classes had to go through.
“I was definitely concerned, especially as an out-of-state student who has family who wants to fly in,” said senior Colton Lake. “I’m relieved and excited with the current plan, but I do wish communication could have been more open with graduates. I do have lingering concerns about whether or not these plans will be able to happen. But I am remaining optimistic.”
Even though the graduation will not be held at Adelphi, this has been planned strategically, taking into consideration all the elements that could possibly become an issue by May 23.
“In researching other venues in the area, as well as our own campus, the decision was based on a few factors: capacity of the space (so our graduates could have many guests), other contractual commitments for other venues and weather (outside venues),” said Kaitlyn Woods, senior associate director of special events and engagement.
While safety rules are subject to change, the current protocols are as follows: masks are recommended but not required; no proof of vaccination will be required; and students may choose the number of guests they wish to bring. Tickets can be purchased on MarchingOrder.
Should anything change with Covid numbers and restrictions, the university is prepared. “As Adelphi has done in any situation, we would pivot our plans based on both NYS and Nassau County guidance to ensure the safety of our Adelphi community,” Woods said.
The Commencement will be a big open space in case social distancing is necessary for Covid reasons and the provided area will be great for picture taking. After two years, getting together for big events is something many are no longer used to. But a large space means that more family and friends will be able to attend. Graduating students can invite up to seven guests, and more faculty will be able to attend, unlike the year before. A livestream will also be available to those who are unable to attend.
These current Commencement plans were not an option for the Classes of 2020 and 2021. In lieu of a regular graduation, the 2020 graduation was held in 2021 following that of the 2021 graduation. With Covid precautions in mind, both were hybrid graduations that were held in person, outdoors at Adelphi University and online. The Grad Walk was optional for those who wished to participate in an in-person graduation, but was not mandatory. For those attending, each student was allowed two guests. Both masks and social distancing was required. Recordings of both the 2020 and 2021 ceremonies were then posted online for viewing and sharing.
There is some disbelief that, after all this time, graduation is being held indoors and in person. With anticipation as Commencement approaches, seniors are excited for what’s been planned.
“Honestly I’m really excited about graduation being back to the way it was before and I feel really lucky that my class gets to have a full ceremony,” said senior Sierra Romano. “When graduation was first announced, I was a little iffy about it as it is a huge gathering, but with the way things are going, I’m not too worried about it anymore.”
If Covid numbers remain low, this will be the first “normal” graduation that Adelphi has had since 2019.