Dear Class of 2021,
Commencement recognizes and celebrates students’ academic achievement while inspiring them to go forth and positively impact humanity. Our commencement rituals bring our graduates’ extended community together to honor our shared bonds and traditions, and to certify each class into fellowship with the university.
Despite the unique challenges of this past year, we have planned several in-person and virtual experiences to allow us to celebrate the Class of 2021 while keeping our Buff community safe.
Below is a detailed summary of “all things commencement” that you will want to know as you prepare to celebrate. Be sure to check out our commencement 2021 website, a one-stop-shop for all commencement-related information and resources.
Prepare to Graduate
From applying to graduate, to getting your cap and gown, and taking care of your academic and financial tasks, there is a lot on your “to-do list” to prepare to graduate. We have assembled a list for you to check off and linked to several important resources on our Prepare to Graduate page.
Grad Appreciation Days
As a part of Grad Appreciation Days, students are invited to attend several in-person opportunities leading up to the virtual commencement events. These in-person events will be for graduating students only. Families and friends will not be able to attend.
April 20–22: Gear Grab
Stop by Gear Grab at University Memorial Center South Terrace between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. from Tuesday, April 20, to Thursday, April 22. Graduates can purchase caps and gowns (undergraduate students only), pick up various cords and stoles, get their Alumni Association Legacy Cord, sign the Class of 2021 Forever Buffs banner and even decorate their caps in a COVID-safe environment in the CU Book Store.
April 22–23, 26–27: Cross the Stage at Folsom Field
By registering to attend this in-person event, you will have a unique opportunity to receive your diploma cover, cross the stage at Folsom Field and smile for professionally taken photographs. Enjoy college and school giveaways, plus pick up your Class of 2021 gift from the Alumni Association. Wearing of your academic regalia (caps and gowns) is encouraged but not required. A livestream feed will be available, allowing your family and friends to watch as you cross the stage. Register for your slot today.
April 19–29: Campus photo ops
Take photos at one or all three inflatable photo frames around campus and share selfie moments using the #ForeverBuffs hashtag. Registration for these photo ops is not required. Grads will find inflatable photo frames at several iconic campus locations. Look for signs around campus for additional grad-related photo ops.
Livestreamed commencement ceremony
At noon MDT Thursday, May 6, we will come together to recognize the many accomplishments of our graduates and mark their passage into the company of scholars at our livestreamed commencement ceremony.
Dwinita “Nita” Mosby Tyler, founder of The Equity Project LLC—a consulting firm supporting organizations and communities in building diversity, equity and inclusion strategies—will give the May 6 livestreamed commencement address.
Highlights of the livestreamed commencement ceremony include:
Conferral of degrees
Norlin Charge, alma mater and national anthem
Remarks by Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano
Congratulatory message from CU President Mark Kennedy
Senior Class Council address
Traditional senior class celebratory video
Presentation of Chancellor’s Recognition Awards and Outstanding Graduates
Welcome to the Forever Buffs Family
Live social media engagement and feed commentary
College, school and department ceremonies
Individual recognition of our graduates, traditionally held at college, school, department or program recognition ceremonies and affinity group celebrations, remains an important part of this May’s commencement activities. Our colleges, schools and departments will be celebrating the Class of 2021 with virtual recognition ceremonies following the livestreamed commencement ceremony. More information on each unit’s plans is available on the college/department ceremonies page of the commencement 2021 website.