In-person Commencement scheduled for May 15-16, Fauci to virtually headline Graduates Day

Commencement for the Class of 2021 will take place May 15-16, 2021 at Vanderbilt Stadium and will follow campus safety protocols.


Dr. Anthony Fauci serves as the United States’ chief medical advisor and lead the nation’s COVID-19 response. (Photo courtesy National Institutes of Health)

Immanual John Milton, Editor in Chief

The university announced in a press release it will hold an in-person Commencement ceremony at Vanderbilt Stadium for the Class of 2021 on May 15-16. Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the President, will be virtually featured in the Graduates Day event held on May 14.

The undergraduates’ ceremony will take place May 15 at Vanderbilt Stadium, and graduate and professional students will take part in their ceremony on May 16 at various locations times and locations across campus

Fauci, who has led the nation’s COVID-19 response, will be honored with the Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal during his virtual address to the Vanderbilt graduates. This May 14 event will also be available to the public and alumni.

Vanderbilt will require all attendees to wear masks and to physically distance. Each graduate will be allowed two guests who will sit together in ‘pod style.’ Students must reserve tickets, which will be available starting March 8 until March 31. Any remaining tickets will be available in a following reservation period, per the release.

Commencement will be livestreamed, and recordings will be available after the event as well.

The university also confirmed May 1-2 for Commencement for the Class of 2020 in an email to graduates. Former undergraduates will receive their ceremony on May 1 in Vanderbilt stadium, while the graduate and professional students’ will be held on May 2 in various campus locations.

“We proceeded thoughtfully and carefully to allow for in-person learning to take place over the past year and have now applied those same principles to Commencement,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “Just as it has been important to carry out the hard work necessary to continue in our academic mission, it is equally vital that we celebrate the achievements of our graduates after a year like no other.”