As stated throughout COVID-19, we have been monitoring state and federal guidance, and all planning has been around that guidance with student safety as our guiding principle. On March 12, 2021. Governor Walz announced important changes to executive orders and COVID-19 protocols for the state of Minnesota. Those changes relaxed restrictions on large gatherings of people in light of the reduced number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota and the increasing pace of vaccinations in the state.
Saint Mary’s Winona Commencement Committee has reviewed the new guidelines on venue capacity and are pleased to announce an updated plan for commencement ceremonies. We will continue with our plan to host three small commencement ceremonies on May 8, 2021, and in light of the new guidance, each graduate will be allowed two guests for their specific ceremony. More information will be forthcoming on the times for the ceremonies, ticketing for the ceremonies, and other logistics. All the commencement ceremonies will be livestreamed for family members who are not able to attend in person.
This announcement does not change any plans for the June 2021 commencement for the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs.
As always, these plans are subject to change should we see surges in COVID-19 cases on campus, in Winona, or in Minnesota. Additional changes might also be required should executive orders or Minnesota Department of Health guidance on COVID-19 protocols be revised.
Our goal continues to be to provide a safe commencement ceremony that celebrates the Class of 2021 and its accomplishments. We are excited that the graduates will be able to share this special day with their families, albeit in small numbers.