OU graduation

OU students wait to walk across the stage during graduation May 11, 2019.

After two semesters of virtual ceremonies, the University of Oklahoma will hold multiple in-person graduation ceremonies this spring to recognize past and present Norman graduates.

With six ceremonies planned for mid-May, OU will allow class of 2021 students, along with class of 2020 students who had to graduate virtually, to walk in person. OU will not be holding a commencement ceremony.

“In the face of the countless challenges of the last year, our students have displayed remarkable fortitude and compassion, perfectly emblematic of the OU spirit,” OU President Joe Harroz said in a statement. “Their resilience in the midst of a global pandemic is nothing short of extraordinary, and we are thrilled that we can offer our Classes of 2020 and 2021 a memorable graduation experience on campus that they most assuredly deserve.”

In 2020, OU moved both its spring and winter graduations to virtual formats, citing COVID-19 concerns and capacity limitations.

Attendees at the spring 2021 ceremonies will be required to wear masks and social distance, and must register in advance. OU will release registration details later in February, according to the university. The ceremonies will also be live streamed.

OU Chief COVID Officer Dale Bratzler said in a statement that OU leaders have confidence that as Oklahomans continue to receive the vaccine, “cases will decrease to a lower level in the coming months.”

The six ceremonies, all slated to take place at OU’s Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, are scheduled as follows for the following groups:

7 p.m. May 14

  • Norman campus doctoral candidates

8 a.m. May 15

  • Michael F. Price College of Business
  • College of Professional and Continuing Studies
  • College of Arts and Sciences (Master’s Students)

6:30 p.m. May 15

  • College of Arts and Sciences (undergraduate students)

8 a.m. May 16

  • Gallogly College of Engineering
  • Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture
  • Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy
  • College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences

6:30 p.m. May 16

  • Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication
  • Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts
  • Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education
  • David L. Boren College of International Studies

6:30 p.m. May 17

  • College of Law (J.D. and M.L.S. students)

OU has yet to announce graduation plans for its Tulsa and Health Sciences Center campuses.

Emma Keith covers Norman Public Schools and the University of Oklahoma for The Transcript. Reach her at ekeith@normantranscript.com or at @emma_ckeith.

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Emma Keith covers the coronavirus pandemic and education for The Norman Transcript, with a focus on Norman Public Schools and The University of Oklahoma. She is a 2019 OU graduate.