COVID-19 brings changes to the fall 2020 commencement


Kendall Caple   


Northwestern State University’s fall 2020 commencement will be held in five different ceremonies to adhere to state and national health advisors’ guidelines. 

According to Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Greg Handel, each ceremony will be limited to no more than 250 graduates with each graduate being allowed to invite four guests. 

“This allows us to stay in the required 25 percent rule for indoor gathering. Seating will be socially distanced, and family members will need to sit together. Masks will be required,” Handel said. 

Due to the five commencements’ guidelines, no guest speakers will attend. 

“We’re not going to have a guest speaker. First of all, we don’t want to have somebody have to speak at five different ceremonies,” University President Dr. Chis Maggio said. “But more importantly, we don’t want to bring in additional people as we are trying to keep numbers down so they continue to comply with state protocols.” 

Students uncomfortable with attending the ceremonies in person will have the option to attend from home.  

“Each ceremony will be livestreamed and recorded,” Handel said. 

Over 800 students are set to graduate in the fall 2020 commencements.