Written by Bradley Bommarito
Though graduation is typically held each spring on Roanoke College’s breathtaking front quad, commencement plans for this year include a few significant changes due to COVID-19 health and safety regulations. Commencements are being held this year at Salem High School’s football stadium, located at 1001 Roanoke Boulevard, Salem, VA. With a maximum capacity of 7,157 people, this venue change has allowed the college to safely accommodate the students, faculty, staff, and guests who will be in attendance.
Due to the pandemic’s sudden onset early last year, the Class of 2020 will be experiencing an in-person graduation this year as well as the Class of 2021. The Class of 2020 Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. The Class of 2020 Baccalaureate ceremony will be held on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 6 p.m. in the Cregger Center arena. Due to limited space, this event can only be attended in-person by graduates. Guests can access the livestream of both events via the links on RC’s website.
The Class of 2021 graduation ceremony will take place the following week at the same location. The Class of 2021 Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. The Class of 2021 Baccalaureate ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 5 p.m. in the Cregger Center arena. Due to limited space, this event can only be attended in-person by graduates. Guests can access the livestream of both events via the links on RC’s website.
Each student will be allowed to have four registered guests in attendance at the Commencement ceremony, though anyone may access the college’s YouTube livestreams of this year’s graduation events via https://www.roanoke.edu/a-z/commencement_livestreams. Only guests that were registered by the RSVP deadline will be allowed to attend the in-person graduation commencements.
Graduates of the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 are encouraged to submit graduation photos to RC via the “Upload Photos” link under the class information section on the student portal. Graduating seniors can check in with the faculty marshals at the Fieldhouse entrance of the stadium starting at 9:00 a.m. the morning of the ceremony. All graduates need to be seated on the field by 9:50 a.m., as the Commencement starts at 10 a.m. Graduates are encouraged to check the graduate instructions website and previous emails regarding graduation for more information on the commencement program and attire guidelines.
From all of us at the Brackety-Ack, we wish the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 a joyous graduation and a bright future ahead. Congratulations for all that you’ve accomplished during your tenure at RC, and thank you for being loyal readers and contributors to our school’s newspaper. We appreciate the time and energy you’ve dedicated to the RC community as well as the support you’ve extended to RC’s student activities and academic programs. Congratulations, best of luck, and we look forward to hearing about where the journey of life takes you.