Northeastern Will Host Graduation Ceremonies at Fenway Park

The arrangement will allow for safe celebrations, per school officials

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Northeastern University will hold in-person commencement ceremonies for undergraduates at Fenway Park on May 8, the school announced Monday.

The announcement, posted to the school's website, said the venue will provide graduates with a chance "to safely celebrate in person at an internationally known venue." It noted that the commencement plans come with the increasing numbers of vaccinations and an overall decline in COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts.

"It's a cool venue, and I think it'll be a good time," said senior Bradley Goldstein.

Roughly 4,000 graduates will be split into two groups to allow for physical distancing at morning and afternoon ceremonies, per Monday's announcement. The school hopes to allow students to invite one guest, though the park's capacity is still to be determined, according to the announcement.

"I'm mostly excited to hear how many tickets we'll get to get," said senior Sydney Wise. "I'm going to let my parents fight it out. I don't want to choose one of them. My mom got vaccinated already, so it might be her just because she has a vaccine."

Commencement ceremonies will follow state and local public health guidelines, with those in attendance required to complete a health survey and attest to their compliance with state COVID guidance, Northeastern Provost David Madigan wrote in a message to the school community.

Students will be given electronic tickets with directions on the best time and place of entry at the park to allow for staggered arrivals. Students will not receive diplomas at the ceremony.

The ceremonies will also be live streamed for those not in attendance.

Graduate students will celebrate a week of commencement festivities beginning May 1 with a procession through campus while wearing caps and gowns. A virtual commencement is scheduled for graduate students on May 7.

This in-person ceremony is a departure from last year's virtual ceremony. The school is planning for an in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 graduates in November, according to the announcement.

Commencement will mark the beginning of a return to some college traditions for Northeastern students. School officials announced their plans earlier this month for a "normal" fall experience in the coming semester.

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