The Class of 2021 will have the opportunity to walk across the stage in the Glass Bowl to celebrate receiving their degrees.
The University of Toledo will hold multiple in-person commencement ceremonies to celebrate graduates in person while also adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols.
Now that the state of Ohio is allowing outdoor events at sporting venues to reopen at 30% capacity, spring commencement is able to take place Saturday, May 8, in the Glass Bowl. UToledo had initially begun plans for a virtual celebration.
The ceremonies on May 8 will recognize graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters; the John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Health and Human Services; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; and University College.
Graduating students will be split into at least two groups for separate ceremonies and guests will be limited with tickets required. All attendees will be required to wear face masks and keep at least 6 feet from others not in their household.
Class of 2020 graduates who earned their degrees during the coronavirus pandemic are welcome to participate in the May ceremonies. RSVPs will be required for returning graduates.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to provide our graduates with an in-person celebration,” UToledo President Gregory Postel said. “Our Rockets continue to demonstrate focus, perseverance and strength through their academic success, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19 during the last year. We look forward to celebrating the Class of 2021’s achievements and resilience at our in-person spring commencement ceremonies.”
For graduates who prefer to participate virtually, the ceremonies will be streamed online at utoledo.edu/commencement.
University leadership is collaborating with public health experts to carefully plan the commencement events and will share more details in the coming weeks.
UToledo alumna Irma Olguin, Jr. will remotely deliver the keynote address at the ceremonies.
Olguin is co-founder and chief executive officer of Bitwise Industries in Fresno, Calif. She graduated in 2004 from the UToledo College of Engineering with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering and went on to blaze a trail of inclusivity for women and minorities in the tech industry.
Last month, Bitwise Industries announced it is investing in Toledo. Olguin’s tech company plans to open a branch in in the Jefferson Center building, Toledo’s historic former post office, to provide paid apprenticeships to students from diverse and underserved communities to learn tech skills.
“Ms. Olguin is an outstanding UToledo alumna making an incredible impact on the world,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “We are pleased to welcome the entrepreneur as our commencement speaker to inspire our newest alumni as they receive their degrees.”
The colleges of Law; Medicine and Life Sciences; and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will each hold separate in-person ceremonies. And those receiving doctoral degrees will have the opportunity to participate in a separate hooding ceremony. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.