Snapshot: An unusual commencement celebration for spring 2021

Friday, October 8, 2021
A man dressed in robes bumps elbows with a student wearing a black robe and morterboard hat.

Photo by Alicia Dietrich

After a year that left the campus mostly empty as students worked remotely, Bass Concert Hall welcomed excited graduates eager to gather in the way graduation is meant to be celebrated: in person, surrounded with family, friends, professors and mentors.

Instead of filling the auditorium, friends and family groups filed into the building in individual pods to watch their graduate receive a diploma and an elbow bump from Dean Doug Dempster before heading outside, where faculty members waited on the Bass Plaza to celebrate them. Students also had a chance to take a photo with a cardboard cutout of special guest speaker Cher, who kindly recorded a video message for the College of Fine Arts Class of 2021 about the importance of resilience and using their talents for good in the world.

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