This year’s commencement ceremony will be completely virtual, per an announcement today. It will occur on April 30, with degrees awarded between April and June.

The full statement reads as follows:

“After extensive and careful consideration of public health guidelines, and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our communities, an in-person ceremony will not be possible this April. We are committed to celebrating the accomplishments of the Class of 2021 in a meaningful and memorable way. Please join us for a virtual University Commencement ceremony that will be webcast live on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. (EDT).”

This decision follow’s last year’s commencement also being held online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While hospitalizations, deaths, and cases have been falling in New York State, according to The Covid Tracking Project, COVID-19 is still circulating in New York City, and mass gatherings are still prohibited under NYC regulations. It is unknown when they may be permitted to happen again.

Columbia is also offering a series of virtual Multicultural Graduations, for graduating seniors in Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, General Studies, and Barnard College. Any senior interested in participating in these smaller ceremonies should register here by Sunday, March 21 to obtain a multicultural graduation gift, with the final registration date being Wednesday, March 31.

Columbia has recieved some media pushback against the Multicultural Graduation ceremonies from entities like The Daily Wire, which view the events as segregated. Bwog asked Columbia to comment on this pushback, and a University spokesperson gave us the following statement:

“Columbia marks graduation every spring with a university-wide Commencement ceremony and Class Days for the graduates of each of our schools. These events bringing together all of our graduates and their families are a high point of every academic year. The smaller celebratory events held for particular communities are in addition to, not instead of, the main Commencement and Class Day graduation ceremonies. In most instances, these smaller, multicultural gatherings evolved from ceremonies originally created by alumni and students. The gatherings are voluntary, open to every student who wants to participate, and have become a highly anticipated and meaningful part of the Columbia graduation experience.”

Update at 12:20 pm on Tuesday, March 16: This article has been updated to include the offerings of Multicultural Graduation Ceremonies.

Update at 5:15 pm on Tuesday, March 16: This article has been updated to include Columbia’s statement on the pushback on Multicultural Graduations.

This is a developing story, check back later for more information.

One day… via Bwog Archives