AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – Auburn University announced it will host commencement ceremonies for spring and summer graduates in two ceremonies at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Aug. 8.
The ceremonies will be held together, contingent on current health and safety guidelines, as well as if weather permits, according to a statement from the university.
“From the beginning, we have worked to balance three important goals when planning our graduation ceremonies,” said Auburn President Jay Gogue. “Beginning with measures to support the safety of our graduates and guests, we have also strived to uphold the tradition of our ceremonies while engaging input from our students.”
The university says they sent a survey in early June to a group of spring and summer graduates asking for feedback on a variety of commencement scenarios. Holding the ceremonies at Jordna-Hare to allow for family and friends to attend was “overwhelmingly selected by students” over the other options provided in the survey.
“It’s so important for our spring graduates to participate in August commencement and have this symbolic experience that we could not have in May due to the pandemic,” said former Student Government Association President and spring 2020 graduate Mary Margaret Turton. “Although our class was unable to share in the unique traditions that are associated with spring graduation, the opportunity to come back to Auburn and walk across the stage in Jordan-Hare Stadium is something we will never forget.”
The two ceremonies will be held separately, with one at 7 a.m. and one at 7 p.m. to take advantage of the milder temperatures, according to the university.
Auburn’s five traditional spring ceremonies will be consolidated into the two commencements on Aug. 8 and will use the field to seat graduates apart and allow for social distancing needs. If the weather does not permit the ceremonies to continue as planned, or COVID-19 regulations change, the university plans to transition the event to Auburn Arena and livestream them without guests.