Individual schools’ commencement ceremonies moved to May 19-21

Hannah Mayer, News Editor

Daisy Ryme

On March 26, 2021, Tulane administration sent out an email announcing that commencement ceremonies for individual schools, which are to be held in person, would be moved up to the week of May 10

Michael Strecker, executive director of public relations, justified Tulane’s decision to move up the individual graduations because it would allow graduating seniors to travel home and be with their families for the virtual commencement.

“Our thought was that this timeframe would provide flexibility for graduating students who have to complete exit testing and possible quarantine/isolation if they wanted to return home to enjoy the virtual May 22 Unified Commencement with their families and friends, as graduates did last year,” Strecker said.

This past Wednesday, March 31, the university changed the commencement schedule, moving individual school ceremonies to May 19-21. This change occurred after the administration sent out a survey on March 29 asking what dates students preferred for the in-person graduation ceremonies at Yulman Stadium. 

According to Strecker, the survey revealed that not all graduates from the Class of 2021 would be able to or desire to return home for May 22 and that many had made plans for them and their families to be in New Orleans around that time. The survey showed that an overwhelming majority of students preferred to move the individual school ceremonies to the week of the Virtual Unified Commencement.

Senior Daniela Parada was pleased with the change in date of the individual schools’ graduation ceremonies.

“My dad is flying in from England to see me walk and with the earlier dates he wouldn’t have been able to,” Parada said. “So I’m very happy that they moved the dates back and now my parents will be able to see me graduate in person.”

The only schools which will not have ceremonies between May 19–21 are the School of Medicine, whose ceremony will take place on May 22, and the School of Social Work, whose ceremony will take place in December. 

Strecker also told The Hullabaloo that plans are underway for an in-person commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020.

“No matter the circumstances, whether in-person or virtual, we are so proud of all our graduates and so eager to celebrate the goals they have achieved, the intellectual and personal journey they have completed and the promising future they face as they join their fellow Tulanians in making positive change throughout the world,” President Mike Fitts said in a recent message.