Oct. 11, 2021: December Graduation - Change of Plans

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Our fall 2021 graduating students have petitioned us to hold an in-person graduation ceremony this December. Considering the number of graduates, our student vaccination rate, and the ability of our venue (the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore) to allow for physical distancing, we will be proceeding with offering an in-person ceremony for graduates only (no guests) on Thursday, Dec. 16. We will be collaborating with the Hippodrome to determine if live streaming the event is possible.

We will be offering one ceremony for Baltimore graduates at 10 a.m. and one for Universities at Shady Grove graduates at 2 p.m. 

I want to be clear that these ceremonies will happen only if developments of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to support us proceeding safely. Should the pandemic require us to cancel the event, we will do so.

All in attendance at the ceremony will be required to wear KN95 masks constantly, and there cannot be any physical contact among attendees other than a handshake with me and the pinning/hooding by the UMSON-designated pinner/doctoral hooder, who will not shake graduates’ hands. 

Additionally, I will be extending an invitation for a ceremony at the Hippodrome at 4 p.m. on Dec. 16 for any of our 2020 and May 2021 alumni who wish to be celebrated in person.

Again, only graduates will be allowed to attend the ceremony. No family members or guests will be allowed to attend.

We will be soliciting faculty volunteers to assist with some aspects of the ceremony, but we will need to consider the total number of attendees in the venue and our ability to maintain physical distancing.  While we will attempt to ensure that all faculty interested in attending may do so, we may be required to limit attendance.

In the interest of infection control, you must submit your intent to attend the respective ceremony no later than Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. You can express your intent to attend any of the three ceremonies through this online form.   

Thank you for your continued support of our students.

Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN
Bill and Joanne Conway Dean, Professor