Northern State to hold in-person graduation with limited attendance

ABERDEEN, S.D. (Press Release) – Northern State University will hold an in-person winter commencement ceremony, open to all 2020 Northern graduates.

Due to the altered fall schedule – with face-to-face instruction ending after Thanksgiving – the ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in the NSU Barnett Center.

The decision was made after careful consideration and discussion among campus leadership and NSU Faculty Senate. The university had to cancel its spring commencement ceremony due to the pandemic. Now, the winter ceremony is open to spring and summer 2020 grads as well.

“We’re thrilled to be able to honor our graduates by holding this event, but the health and safety of our campus and community remains our top priority,” said NSU President Dr. Tim Downs. “We’re committed to holding this ceremony in a safe, responsible manner in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

After assessing the current increase in cases in Brown County with area health officials and government agencies, it was determined that only graduating students, along with faculty and select staff, will be allowed inside the Barnett Center for the ceremony. For parents, friends and loved ones, the event will be live streamed through the NSU Facebook page and locally through cable channel 12.

Attendees at the ceremony will also be required to wear masks, as mandated by S.D. Board of Regents policy. Participants will also be appropriately spaced throughout the Barnett Center.

Downs said he looks forward to celebrating this momentous achievement with graduates.

“This has been a trying year, and we’re grateful for this opportunity to instill a small sense of normalcy, albeit without friends and loved ones,” Downs said. “This ceremony will allow us to recognize the accomplishments of our graduates, and also commemorate a fall semester where we achieved the common goal of remaining on campus.”