In an email sent to fourth-years in the College Tuesday afternoon, the University announced that graduating students will be allowed to invite up to two guests to attend diploma ceremonies in person. Graduates and parents will be expected to wear face coverings and maintain six feet of distance in all seating areas while on campus.
Attendees will be required to register in advance, and all guests attending on-campus activities are required to obtain tickets via a forthcoming online ticketing site.
The University strongly recommends that guests be vaccinated and over the age of 18. They will also need to follow the terms laid out in the University’s visitor attestation. Domestic guests traveling from outside Illinois are required to follow the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel Order guidelines and international travelers will need to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s guidelines.
Prior to the announcement, graduates were still set to receive diplomas at in-person ceremonies, but guests were not allowed to be in attendance. “We strongly discourage families and guests from traveling to campus as we will be unable to accommodate their presence at the diploma ceremonies,” President Robert Zimmer wrote to the campus community on February 1.
Tuesday’s change in policy came after administrators cited “updated guidance from the CDC and the State of Illinois.” Convocation and Class Day, however, will remain fully virtual with no physical attendance of any kind.
In accordance with the original plan, the ceremonies will be broadcast on the University’s Convocation website. Students will have the opportunity to receive individual recordings of the event for on-demand viewing at an unspecified date after the ceremony.