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University of Missouri to hold in-person graduation ceremonies

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

University of Missouri leadership announced Thursday morning that 2021 graduation ceremonies will be held in-person.

An email sent out to MU students and staff said the ceremonies will be held in April and May.

University President Mun Choi and Provost Lathe Ramchand said details for the ceremonies had not been finalized, however, the officials said the Hearnes Center and Mizzou Arena will likely play host.

The first ceremony for 2021 graduates will be held the weekend of May 7 with a second ceremony being held the following weekend. The email included in-person commencements for 2020 graduates will be held the weekend of April 23.

"As we have shared previously, we have been diligently working to resume in-person commencement ceremonies. Commencement is among our most beloved traditions and is the culmination of years of perseverance and hard work," Choi and Ramchand said in the email.

University officials have been in contact with public health experts to plan the graduation events, according to the email.

Students will be allowed to invite six people who will be grouped together in "pods" during the ceremonies. Each pod will be socially distanced from other groups, must wear face masks and follow other health and safety protocols.

The university said the commencements will also be livestreamed.

University officials canceled in-person graduation ceremonies last year because of the pandemic. Instead, the university held graduation virtually.

The university's coronavirus dashboard said 12 students have active cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday. Officials have reported more than 3,100 confirmed cases since in-person classes started in August 2020. MU hit a peak of 683 active coronavirus cases on Sept. 5, 2020.

Matt Ragsdale

Matt Ragsdale is a broadcast and digital producer at ABC 17 News.

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